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32.29 lakh BPL families in State
27.92 lakh BPL families in rural areas
Thiruvananthapuram: The contentious list of families below poverty line (BPL) will finally be published from February 1 at the panchayat and municipality levels, bringing to end a torturous and controversial process that began in 2007.
According to the new list, there are 32,29,823 families which come under the BPL category out of the total number of 76,12,343, constituting 42.43 per cent. The total number of families in the existing list is 56,31,235, out of which 17,23,556 come under the BPL category. Out of the total number of families under the BPL category, Scheduled Castes families account for 6,40,516 and Scheduled Tribes 1,20,771. As per the new list, there are 4.37 lakh families in the urban areas, including 63,339 families in the scheduled communities. In the rural areas, the number of BPL families is 27.92 lakh.
Addressing a press conference here on Friday, Local Self-Government Minister Paloli Mohammed Kutty said efforts to prepare the BPL list had started in 2003, when the first census was conducted. But following a Supreme Court stay, the process was stalled till the final verdict came in 2005. The LDF government decided to subject the 2003 census to verification in 2007 utilising the services of Kudumbasree and Ayalkootams. Norms for indentifying BPL families were prepared taking into account the changed socio-economic situation and the draft list was published in 2008. However, this list had to be scrapped because of the exaggerated numbers. The government later used the services of teachers to prepare the BPL list on the basis of a methodology based on entitlement and exclusion. The Cabinet had also cleared the criteria and weightage marks for selection of BPL families. The Minister said according to the Central government's approved list of BPL families, there were 10.25 lakh in this category in the rural areas. The State government had registered its opposition to the criteria adopted the Central government to identify BPL families.
However, Central assistance would be available only to this number approved by it and the State government would have to find the resources to extend benefits to the rest of the BPL families identified as per the State government's norms, Mr. Mohammed Kutty said.
The Minister said the State government had taken a conscious decision to include several sections of the population as a result of which benefits would be available to 32 categories of families mainly workers in various sectors.
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