Civil supply minister Dayanand Mandrekar on Monday raised eye brows in the legislative assembly with his claim that no resident of Goa fell in 'below the poverty line' category.
"I want to bring this on record on the floor of the house. Since the time state government introduced schemes like Dayanand social security scheme, grih-adhar and others, there will be no family in Goa who would be BPL," the minister said, responding to a motion for cuts moved by the opposition over budgetary demands of his ministry.
His own party colleague, Vishnu Surya Wagh, contradicted him, stating that several people in the state lived in abject poverty. "There are many families which are not even getting benefits of the government schemes," he added.
Wagh also demanded that the procedure for categorising a family as BPL should be amended, as the village panchayat officers often harassed genuine applicants.
The minister conceded that if the benefits were not reaching the people then "we should admit our failure".
Mandrekar also said that the existing list of BPL families, as well as the procedure for recognising a family as BPL, would be reviewed.