For failure to commence socio-economic, caste census

The Union government has expressed displeasure with as many as seven Chief Ministers for their failure to commence the crucial Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) based on which beneficiaries will be ranked for various welfare schemes including the proposed legal entitlement for food.

The irony is that three of them belong to the Congress, which heads the UPA government at the Centre, while another is an ally. Of the three Opposition-ruled states two Chief Ministers belong to the BJP.

Union Minister of Rural Development Jairam Ramesh has dashed off separate letters to all the Chief Ministers for speeding up the enumeration process which is to be conducted by the State government, with the cost being borne by the Centre.

Mr. Ramesh expressed unhappiness with Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Kumar Gogoi (all of them heading Congress governments), West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (an ally of the Congress), Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan (both BJP), and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa (heading the AIADMK government)

He pointed out that the enumeration process was yet to commence despite the deadline fixed for the purpose. He requested the Chief Ministers to issue necessary directions.

In the case of other States, Mr. Ramesh hoped that the Chief Ministers would ensure that the census process was completed as scheduled, or where delayed, at the earliest.

On this count of households hinges the UPA government's decision on the number of beneficiaries to be brought under the food security entitlement, the Bill regarding which is currently under the study of a parliamentary Standing Committee.

The MoRD is desperate to complete the enumeration and not to be seen left behind should the Food Security Bill be taken up for passage in Parliament.

More In: National | News