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

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

Actionable programme for 2019 polls amidst lynch mobs, caste violence, hate mongering

Counterview Desk
Reclaiming the Republic, a civil rights network, has released a document prepared under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah (retired) -- and backed, among others, by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander, economist Prabhat Patnaik, Right to transparency activist Anjali Bhardwaj and social scientist Yogendra Yadav  (click HERE for full list) -- with the "aim" of putting forth policy and legislative reforms needed to “protect” and “strengthen” the Constitutional safeguards for India’s democratic polity.

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.

India under Modi "promoted" crony business, protected financial fraudsters, fueled bigotry

By Sandeep* and Rahul Pandey**
Narendra Modi's ascension to power was accompanied with jubilation and expectation. His supporters were expecting an end to era of corruption and initiation of good governance which was described as Achche Din. His party's adherence to idea of nationalism was believed to make India a vibrant country and guide India to be a world leader. He gave the slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' conveying that his government was for all.
Corruption The government system is infested with corruption. A minimum of 10% is siphoned off from government schemes and projects, some of which goes back to political party in power and remaining is pocketed by various administrative, executive and political functionaries. This corruption continues and has increased. Now an additional Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) person working as Official on Special Duty or some equivalent position in every government department also has a share in this booty.
The Narendra M…

Inviting Rajapaksa to India "insult" to 1,40,000 Tamils killed by Sri Lankan army

Counterview Desk
In the context of Sri Lankan opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa being invited in India, about 75 human rights activists*, claiming to be concerned about rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially in 2009, have joined together to express their dissent through a statement.

A Godse legacy? BJP rulers have "refrained" from calling Gandhi Father of the Nation

By Dr Hari Desai*
What an agony! On one hand, the entire India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but on the other side, so-called Hindu Mahasabha members have been found mock-enacting the killing of the Mahatma and celebrating the murder by distributing sweets!

No aadhaar, no ration? Hard blow by Gujarat govt on poor and marginalized

By Pankti Jog*
Only those who have aadhaar registration and linked it with ration card will get ration from a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop. This decision of the Gujarat government has hit very badly thousands of poor and marginalized communities of Gujarat, especially during the drought year.

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.

Poser to Modi: Why is Gujarat not fulfilling Constitutional obligations to minorities?

Counterview Desk
In an open letter, Mujahid Nafees, convener, Minority Coordination Committee (MCC), a Gujarat-based civil rights organization, has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi on infringing upon MCC activists’ constitutional right to protest. Nafees says, they had no other demands except that the Gujarat government should move towards fulfilling the constitutional obligations towards minorities and international treaties to which India is a signatory.

World Bank needs a new perspective on development, not just a new president

By Maju Varghese*
The resignation of the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim was an unexpected development given the fact that he had three more years to complete his tenure. Resignations at such a high level after bidding for a second term is unusual which prompts people to think what would have led to the act itself.