Lucknow | Eyeing 2017 state assembly polls, the Akhilesh Yadav government is all set to revise the below poverty line (BPL) data of Uttar Pradesh so that the Government’s scheme meant for the poor families could reach the targeted audience.
Though the BPL list is finalised by the central government, we are planning to make our list to know exactly how many people are living below the poverty line. This is must because the government can not work on fictitious figures, a senior official said here today. The Government is facing problem in distribution of Lohia Awas Yojana as well as Samajwadi Pension Yojana both of them meant for the BPL families. One clause of the scheme says that only those people will benefit from these schemes who are not beneficiary of any other government schemes like Indira Awas Yojana.
Here lies the catch. We know many poor families are not getting benefits and they deserve to be part of government schemes. The irony is they are not official BPL families and so they are kept out of these schemes, he said. The Samajwadi Party wants that large number of people should be brought under this social-security umbrella. The decision may have a political overtone as it could be another USP for the government during 2017 elections.
Sources say state Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has also written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to revise the number of BPL beneficiaries.
According to Union government’s figure, there are just over one crore BPL families in UP but the state government feels that the number is much more than this. The state Government argues that the figure was based on 2001 census. The population has gone up so the number of poor is also expected to go up. Recently, State’s Food and Civil Supplies Minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya had written a letter to the Union Government to revise the BPL list of the state.
He had centered his argument that Government does not know the exact number of families that should get Antodaya and BPL facilities. Thus, the BPL list should be revised. It is almost a month since the letter was written but we are yet to get a response from the centre, the official said. Incidentally, during last Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) regime, its supremo Ms Mayawati had undertaken a drive to evaluate the exact number of below poverty line families in the state. Grassroot survey was carried out on 10 point. Three departments – education, Panchayat and food and civil supplies – worked at tandem.
At that time the BPL figure came out to almost 2 crore. This figure is close to reality. Uttar Pradesh has a population of 21 crore and at least 10 per cent of it are living below poverty line, the official said. Poverty in the villages could be gauged from the fact that under Samajwadi Pension Scheme, Government gives just Rs 500 per month and for many families, it is a matter of subsistence, he said.
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