In a decision that will increase the reach of its welfare schemes, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has raised the income limit for the poverty alleviation schemes for urban poor women from Rs. 60,000 to Rs. 1,00,000.
The decision to increase the annual family income limit to Rs1 lakh was taken by BMC chief Sitaram Kunte recently. However, many feel that much more needs to be done.
While nearly 53% of the city’s population lives in slums, the BMC’s urban poor schemes leave out a substantial chunk of the population. Under the new directive, the BMC will only assist women from households where the annual family income is not more than Rs1 lakh. This would mean that only those households, which earn around Rs. 8,300, would benefit from the scheme.
A senior civic official from the planning department defended the move, but admitted that this is not enough. “We realised that Rs. 60,000 was a very meagre limit to have and hence raised the limit. There are several people who will protest against the new limit too. This is just a start. We will ensure that we reach a higher income limit which is more just and fair.”