Less than 5 percent of rural households pay income tax, a new Socio-Economic and Caste Census said . However, despite the name, the census does not include caste.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh released the data for the rural areas here on Friday. While Jaitley said the new data would be an important tool for policy-making, Singh felt the new data would help in dealing with all aspects of poverty and hoped it would help in getting the progress of each household in the rural areas.
According to the data, there are 24.39 crore households in the country, of which 17.91 crore are in the rural areas. Of this 4.58 percent pay income-tax. Among the Scheduled Caste Households (18.46 percent of the total number), the tax paying percentage is 3.49 percent, while for the Scheduled Tribe Category (10.97 percent of total number), the tax paying population is 3.34 percent.
The census provided for automatic exclusion on the basis of 14 parameters, and inclusion on the basis of five parameters. Of the rural households, 7.05 crore or 39.39 per cent were excluded, while 16.50 lakh or 0.92 per cent were included.
The Rural Development Ministry has taken a decision to use the new census data in all its programmes. It would find meaningful use in schemes such as Housing for All, Education and Skills thrust, MGNREGA, the National Food Security Act, Interventions for the differently-abled, interventions for women-led households, and targeting of household/ individual entitlements on evidence of deprivation.
The data said 10.69 crore households were considered for deprivation, while 2 crore did not report deprivation. Talking about the source of income, the data said 5.39 crore depended upon cultivation, while casual labour numbered 9.16 crore. A total of 44.84 lakh households were engaged in part-time or full-time domestic service, while 2.5 crore had income from Government services, private services, and PSU employment.