Ramakanta Biswas

The Odisha government is planning to eradicate poverty in the State and bring it down to 10 per cent from existing 29 per cent. To achieve the target, the state government is going to conduct an extensive survey in this regard. 

The survey to achieve the target will be undertaken by the  Poverty & Human Development Monitoring Agency (PHDMA, an autonomous agency working under the Planning & Convergence (P&C) Department to monitor poverty indicators and strengthen human development. 

In the first phase, the survey will be carried out in 4,056 gram panchayats till March 5, 2023. All the 6,794-gram panchayats will be covered by October 2 next year in the second phase.

During the survey, the PHDMA will visit each panchayat and review and monitor the implementation of government schemes, how people are benefited and prepare a report.

“The government has decided to reduce the poverty in the State and keep it below 10 per cent. Accordingly, the Planning and Convergence (P&C) department will implement the measures in this regard. PHDMA and NGOs under P&C will under the survey in all panchayats in the State,” said P&C department Minister Rajendra Dholakia. 

The Opposition, however, strongly criticised the State government and described the move as a drama ahead of the general election. 

BJP MLA Subash Panigrahi said, “The government does not have any plan to address the problems of the people. The ruling party only eyes to win election by distributing money to people. These schemes are worthless.”

“Does the government know how many people in the State are starving and how many of them can only arrange a square meal a day. As high as 69 per cent adivasi and harijans are poor in the State. If the government is now planning to identify poor, what it has been doing for the last 22 years. I request the government not to enact such drama, ” said Congress MLA Suresh Routray.