Examine the relevance of key new criteria for identification of rural Urban poor as per Bibek Debroy Committee for implementation of the Socio Economic Survey. {This question had a mistake in original test paper, the word rural is to be replaced by urban.}

Published: September 21, 2017

Union Ministry of Housing and Urban poverty alleviation ministry had set up a committee under NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy to fine tune the socio-economic caste census to identify urban poor. SECC data for urban areas had three categories Automatic exclusion based on assets, automatic inclusion this includes homeless, no income and third scoring Index
The committee has suggested:

  1. Urban households having AC, Fridge and Car would not be eligible for assessment for identifying whether they are entitled for government welfare.
  2. This would increase the number of households to be assessed from 40% as per Hashim committee to 59%
  3. Assessed households will be ranked on the basis of an index score on a scale of zero to 12. The parameters for index will be residential, social and occupational deprivation. Committee has called BPL and APL distinction as misnomer.
  4. Thus the parameter would move away from expenditure or consumption based delineation to deprivation, which truly reflects level of multidimensional poverty.
  5. The SECC had used assets like computer, internet etc for automatic exclusion from BPL list.
  6. Committee has disagreed with this saying assets not reflection of financial health like owning a computer, landline and internet would not exclude household from welfare schemes As in states like Assam, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, governments have given free computers to meritorious students, who could be from poor families.
  7. Debroy panel has suggested all adult earning members in an urban family, even daily or irregular earners, should be dropped from the “automatic inclusion” list as their income doesn’t reflect their economic vulnerability. Many migrants workers hold land in native villages.
  8. If recommendations of the Debroy panel are accepted, the count of poor households in urban areas is likely to increase from the current 35% from 26% as calculated by C. Rangarajan committee.

SECC data had provided with a framework for urban poor identification, panel further refines it taking into account social and political realities with much accurate list of beneficiary for welfare schemes.

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