New criteria to identify poor not acceptable: NGOs | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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New criteria to identify poor not acceptable: NGOs

With the state government set to start the survey of below poverty line (BPL) families from October 2 to December 21, Anna Adhikar Abhiyan (AAA), with a network of over 100 organisations in the state, protested at Azad Maidan on Tuesday against the new criteria to be used for estimation of the poor.

mumbai Updated: Sep 21, 2011 00:36 IST
Prajakta Chavan

With the state government set to start the survey of below poverty line (BPL) families from October 2 to December 21, Anna Adhikar Abhiyan (AAA), with a network of over 100 organisations in the state, protested at Azad Maidan on Tuesday against the new criteria to be used for estimation of the poor.

"The new criteria proposed by the central ministry of rural development would exclude a lot of poor families from the BPL category. This will help the government to reduce budget allocation for BPL families and show that the percentage of poor has decreased," said Ulka Mahajan, AAA member.

"People owning a landline phone, refrigerator, bikes or cars, with a family member earning more than 10,000 per month, paying income or professional tax would be excluded from BPL. This is clear injustice because in rural areas, people own two wheelers, as there is no other mode of transport. The state should modify the criteria before starting the survey," said Mahajan.

The activists also complained that criteria for surveying the urban poor have not been released yet. "The government will conduct both the urban and rural survey in the stipulated period. If the criteria are declared only a few days before the survey, how will we suggest improvements?" asked Mukta Srivastava, AAA convenor.

AAA had written a letter to central rural development minister Jairam Ramesh, asking for an appointment, but failed.