Nearly 28 percent of rural households in India still do not have access to a phone, whether landline or mobile, finds the Socio Economic and Caste Census, 2011. Only 11 percent of these households have a refrigerator.
The census, released by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birendra Singh on Friday, finds that the number of mobile-phone connections far exceeds that of landlines in rural India. Sixty-eight percent of households own only a mobile phone, one percent own only a landline phone, and 2.7 percent own both.
Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh perform abysmally when it comes to rural consumption of items measured in the census. A whopping 71 percent of Chhattisgarh’s rural population, for example, does not have a phone. This number is 65.3 percent for Odisha and 51.9 percent for Madhya Pradesh. The proportion of these States’ rural populations with a refrigerator is very low — only around a third of the national average.
The highest-paid members in an overwhelming 90.8 percent of rural households in Chhattisgarh earn less than Rs 5,000 a month, which may explain the low consumption. This proportion is 87.8 percent in Odisha and 83.5 percent in Madhya Pradesh, against the national average of 74.5 percent.
The census found that only 3.62 percent of rural households across the country have a Kisan Credit Card with a credit limit of Rs 50,000 or more.