Skip to main content

Underplaying poverty: Gujarat govt thinks earning less than Rs 325 in rural, Rs 501 in urban areas is BPL

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government believes that people with a per capita monthly income of less than Rs 324 in the rural areas and Rs 501 in the urban areas should be treated as “below poverty line” or BPL. The BPL “definition” has been given in the state government website of the food and civil supplies department. Fixing the information in Gujarati, the website (click HERE to see) adds, under this definition, as many as 24.3 lakh families of Gujarat are below the official poverty line, as against 13.1 lakh BPL families identifies by the Government of India. It adds, all these BPL families have the “right” get subsidized food to the tune of 35 kg of foodgrains.
The state government “definition” of BPL in Gujarat comes nearly six months after the Government of India faced a flak for declaring that an individual above a monthly consumption of Rs 859.6 in urban and Rs 672.8 in rural areas should not be considered poor. Taking a jibe at the Planning Commission for underplaying poverty issues of this kind, Modi said in August last year that the Prime Minister’s “policy makers are not aware of commoners' plight, nor are they aware of their living conditions.” That is why people from his government “announce that we can get a meal for Rs 5 or Rs 12."
Finding the Gujarat government definition of BPL “amusing”, state Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia said, "On one hand, Gujarat's food and civil supplies department says there are 24.3 lakh BPL families in the state, on the other, the state's health department, under the Mukhyamantri Amrutam Yojana, in its advertisements put the families constituting the BPL category at 38 lakh."
Meanwhile, a public interest litigation filed in the Gujarat High Court has said that the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has scant regard for poverty alleviation in the city. It has said, the AMC prepared 2,43,038 BPL cards, but as many as “78,039 cards have remained undelivered till date.” It adds, “This reflects that the data gathered were not authentic, and there are various 'bhutia' or bogus cards in existence.” The High Court wants the state government response on the matter within a fortnight.
The PIL has questioned the criterion of monthly income of Rs 501 per person in the urban areas for inclusion in BPL list and termed it “absurd.” It claimed that AMC's list is “not dynamic in nature, and it requires regular exclusion and inclusion of members”. There have been several state government documents which have said that the state’s urban poverty and living conditions are “worse” than those prevailing in the rural areas – primarily because the slum-dwellers live in subhuman conditions.
The Gujarat government’s definition of BPL, as found reflected in its site, says:
· In the rural areas, per capita monthly income should be below Rs 324 and Rs 501 respectively for rural and urban areas
· Anyone wanting to be included in BPL should be a landless labourer and should own less than one acre of land.
· The BPL survey, carried out by the state rural development department, finds that those in the 0-16 group, with those scoring 0 (zero) being the most poor and not owning any asset, primarily immovable poverty. Anyone wanting to be included in the BPL list should rely on this data.

Comments

TRENDING

Vaccine nationalism? Covaxin isn't safe either, perhaps it's worse: Experts

By Rajiv Shah  I was a little awestruck: The news had already spread that Astrazeneca – whose Indian variant Covishield was delivered to nearly 80% of Indian vaccine recipients during the Covid-19 era – has been withdrawn by the manufacturers following the admission by its UK pharma giant that its Covid-19 vector-based vaccine in “rare” instances cause TTS, or “thrombocytopenia thrombosis syndrome”, which lead to the blood to clump and form clots. The vaccine reportedly led to at least 81 deaths in the UK.

'Scientifically flawed': 22 examples of the failure of vaccine passports

By Vratesh Srivastava*   Vaccine passports were introduced in late 2021 in a number of places across the world, with the primary objective of curtailing community spread and inducing "vaccine hesitant" people to get vaccinated, ostensibly to ensure herd immunity. The case for vaccine passports was scientifically flawed and ethically questionable.

'Misleading' ads: Are our celebrities and public figures acting responsibly?

By Deepika* It is imperative for celebrities and public figures to act responsibly while endorsing a consumer product, the Supreme Court said as it recently clamped down on misleading advertisements.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Palm oil industry deceptively using geenwashing to market products

By Athena*  Corporate hypocrisy is a masterclass in manipulation that mostly remains undetected by consumers and citizens. Companies often boast about their environmental and social responsibilities. Yet their actions betray these promises, creating a chasm between their public image and the grim on-the-ground reality. This duplicity and severely erodes public trust and undermines the strong foundations of our society.

'Fake encounter': 12 Adivasis killed being dubbed Maoists, says FACAM

Counterview Desk   The civil rights network* Forum Against Corporatization and Militarization (FACAM), even as condemn what it has called "fake encounter" of 12 Adivasi villagers in Gangaloor, has taken strong exception to they being presented by the authorities as Maoists.

Mired in controversy, India's polio jab programme 'led to suffering, misery'

By Vratesh Srivastava*  Following the 1988 World Health Assembly declaration to eradicate polio by the year 2000, to which India was a signatory, India ran intensive pulse polio immunization campaigns since 1995. After 19 years, in 2014, polio was declared officially eradicated in India. India was formally acknowledged by WHO as being free of polio.

No compensation to family, reluctance to file FIR: Manual scavengers' death

By Arun Khote, Sanjeev Kumar*  Recently, there have been four instances of horrifying deaths of sewer/septic tank workers in Uttar Pradesh. On 2 May, 2024, Shobran Yadav, 56, and his son Sushil Yadav, 28, died from suffocation while cleaning a sewer line in Lucknow’s Wazirganj area. In another incident on 3 May 2024, two workers Nooni Mandal, 36 and Kokan Mandal aka Tapan Mandal, 40 were killed while cleaning the septic tank in a house in Noida, Sector 26. The two workers were residents of Malda district of West Bengal and lived in the slum area of Noida Sector 9. 

India 'not keen' on legally binding global treaty to reduce plastic production

By Rajiv Shah  Even as offering lip-service to the United Nations Environment Agency (UNEA) for the need to curb plastic production, the Government of India appears reluctant in reducing the production of plastic. A senior participant at the UNEP’s fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4), which took place in Ottawa in April last week, told a plastics pollution seminar that India, along with China and Russia, did not want any legally binding agreement for curbing plastic pollution.