Data from the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) blows the myth of inclusive growth and shows conclusively that the set of economic policies followed have resulted in massive deprivation and denial of minimum standards of living to a vast section of the population.


 This picture emerges in spite of the faulty criteria for “ automatic inclusion” and “automatic exclusion” which was adopted for the SECC and which had been criticized by the CPI(M) at the time as an instrument to divide equally needy and deprived sections so as to deny them of benefits of social sector programmes.


The income figures that emerge from the SECC contradict the criteria of inclusion and exclusion. Even the increased figures of 48 per cent of rural population being described as poor (as compared to estimate of Rangarajan Committee of 30.90 per cent) is still a gross underestimation.


For example the survey shows that 75 per cent heads of households in rural India had an earning of less than 5000 rupees per month. By any measure of decent living these are destitution lines, not poverty lines but such households are not included in the criteria to define the poor. 92 per cent were earning less than 10,000 rupees per month. More than 51 per cent of rural households depend on manual labour, associated with fluctuating incomes.


The SECC data requires further study and analysis. However these shocking figures of distress point to the need for a reversal of the policies that have created such a terrible situation for the majority of the rural population.


The CPI(M) demands that the Government stop its fraudulent targeting policies which throw out huge section of populations that are deprived from the minimum requirements of food, housing and work. For a start, the Government must put in place a universal public distribution system for food security and strengthen MGNREGA by first increasing fund allocations and ensure distribution of land and for pukka housing to the crores of landless identified by the survey.