New Delhi: The socio-economic caste census, which will be used to identify beneficiaries of various social welfare schemes, including the proposed food law, could only be completed by July-end, according to Rural Development
Minister Jairam Ramesh.
Last month, Food Minister KV Thomas had written a letter to the Rural Development Minister seeking an updated status of SECC (socio-economic caste census) 2011, and also requested the ministries concerned to complete the survey soon to
facilitate the implementation of the proposed food law.
"... there is simply no way we will be able to complete SECC 2011 by end-June 2012. Even this, in my view is a little optimistic. More realistically, we would expect SECC to be completed by end-July 2012," Ramesh said in a letter to Food Minister KV Thomas.
The SECC, which was initiated in June last year, has not made big progress in many states. The process has not even started in some states.
While the Ministry of Rural Development is coordinating the survey to identify households in rural areas, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation is looking into identification of households in urban areas.
The Food Bill aims to give legal entitlement to cheaper foodgrains to 75 percent of the people in rural areas, including at least 46 percent in the priority sections.
Up to 50 percent of people in urban centres will be covered under the proposed law, of which at least 28 percent will be in the priority category.
Ramesh said that the earlier deadline of December 2011 has been slipped badly due to local elections in Orissa and Maharasthra and assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Goa and Uttarakhand. Floods in Orissa have also added to delays.