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

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Gujarat link of controversial US doctor who 'forced' WHO quiz Trump's wonder drug

By Rajiv Shah
A top American doctor, Sapan Sharankishor Desai, born and raised in the “affluent” North Shore (Chicago) region of Illinois by Indian parents, at one point of time involved in NGO activity through  dedicated to “improving” the lives of the impoverished in Gujarat, is in the eyes of a major international storm following his paper (retracted) in a “Lancet” questioning Donald Trump-promoted drug hydroxychloroquine.

Border conflict? RBI nod India's 'brotherly' help to China internationalise its currency

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
In the middle of a global pandemic, China started an unprovoked border conflict with India. It unraveled trust deficit and ties between the two neighbours. As thousands of Chinese troops tried occupying Indian territory, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government directs the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow the Bank of China to start regular banking services in India. The Bank of China will now operate in India like any other commercial banks.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Dalits in India, Blacks in US suffer 'similar' humiliation: Macwan drafts letter to Trump

Counterview Desk
Well-known human rights activist Martin Macwan, recipient of the prestigious Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Award in 2000, has drafted an open letter to US President Donald Trump following the disturbing turn of events with the murder of George Floyd, leading to widespread protests in the US. He has sought signatures of concerned citizens before sending it to Trump.

Clean chit to British rulers, Muslim League? Karnataka to have Veer Savarkar flyovers

By Shamsul Islam*
The BJP government of Karnataka led by BS Yediyurappa is going to honour Hindutva icon VD Savarkar by naming two of the newly built major flyovers in Bangalore and Mangalore after him. There was a huge uproar against this decision of the RSS-BJP government as many pro-Kannada organisations with opposition parties and liberal-secular organizations questioned the logic to ignore so many freedom fighters, social reformers and others from within the state.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.