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Government should buy land for homeless, says Isaac

Staff Reporter

List of BPL families being finalised by the State government

— Photo: By Special Arrangement

Call for action: Finance Minister Thomas Isaac arrives at the Kerala Institute of Local Administration in Thrissur on Saturday to inaugurate a meeting of panchayat help desk teams.

Thrissur: Finance Minister T. M. Thomas Isaac has said the government should buy land to build houses for the homeless.

He was addressing a meeting of panchayat help desk teams at the Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA) here on Saturday.

“If 4.5 lakh houses are built, the State’s entire population will have homes, according to a survey conducted by a committee appointed by the Local Administration Department. Finding funds, land and building material for housing projects for the poor is not easy. But if there is a will, there is a way. Silt from dams may be used to make bricks for these projects,” he said.

He said the list of Below Poverty Line (BPL) people being finalised by the State government might have between 23 lakh and 24 lakh families.

“Eligible members of the community of fishermen and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and beneficiaries of the Ashraya project will be included in a draft BPL list prepared in 2006 with the participation of Kudumbasree. The inclusion will yield the final list. Nearly 70 per cent of the State’s population was included in the BPL list drawn up in 2002-2003, making it inaccurate. The government plans to streamline the survey to prepare a BPL list for the next five-year plan,” he said.

The Minister said decentralisation efforts had accelerated development in Latin American countries. “Forces that support decentralised development have come to power in Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Venezuela. Such administrative reforms have helped these countries check the effects of globalisation,” he said.

C. P. Narayanan, member of the State Planning Board, P. K. Ravindran, private secretary to the Local Administration Minister and N. Remakantan, director of KILA, also spoke.

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