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Kerala to prepare a new BPL list

The state government will conduct fresh survey to prepare a new, error-free below the poverty line (BPL) list

Thiruvananthapuram: The Government of Kerala has decided to conduct fresh survey to prepare a new below the poverty line (BPL) list in the state.

Addressing reporters here after the weekly cabinet meeting, Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan said there were lots of complaints about the present list and a survey would be undertaken to prepare an error-free new list, reports IANS.
"We have decided to hold a survey to prepare the new list and it would be done by teachers," he said.

Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy said there was a mismatch between the figures of the state and the central governments about the number of the BPL families in Kerala.

According to the state government's estimates, there are 25 lakh families in the BPL category.
"But according to the list of the centre, it is 15 lakh and it's based on this list that the centre allocates supplies to the state," Chandy said.

He, however, declined to comment on the government's decision to prepare a new list, saying he would do so after getting details about the "real intention" of the government.
The state's total population is 3.2 crore.

The critics of the existing BPL list say many poor families were excluded from the list.

In the recent state budget, Finance Minister Thomas Isaac had announced that the government would give rice at Rs 2 per kilogram to all BPL families.

BPL Families

It is the ward members who are in direct contact with families of the ward. To be included in the BPL list the ward members should certify and give the list to the panchayat.

What happened was teachers who did not have any knowledge about the families they visited did the survey. Many teachers did not know what they were doing and for what purpose. The form they filled in did not contain enough items to show the financial and other necessary criteria to be categorized in BPL or APL list. I know people running resort are listed as BPL and those women family heads without permanent employment are listed in APL.

The problem lies in planning and with those who make the questionnaire without accountability. Every ward member should be responsible for the mistakes in BPL list and other works affecting the people like road maintenance work.

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