Orissa to expand its list of poor
THE Orissa government has accepted the Central governments recommendations to include primitive tribes and households headed by single women in the list of families below poverty line (bpl) as the state gears to conduct the 2009 survey to identify bpl families. Households headed by physically challenged persons, families of hiv positive persons will also be included in the list. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik who met the Union rural development minister C P Joshi on October 21 suggested that bpl census should be structured to include these groups.
The state government gave the suggestions in response to the Centre seeking views of states on the expert group report on the methodology for 2009 census (see BPL: a difficult line to draw, Down To Earth, October 15, 2009).
The state government, however, is yet to finalize the bpl census figures for 2002 after the Centre refused to accept the figure of about 4.6 million bpl households in Orissa. The centre insisted the number of such households could not be more than 3.5 million and later relented to accommodate 3.9 million families. Now that there will be a fresh survey, we have put on hold, plans for validating the 2002 list. We are fully prepared for the exercise which would begin as soon as the Centre fixes the guidelines, said Prafulla Samal, Orissas Panchayati Raj minister.
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