Bhubaneswar: While the Odisha government has been identifying beneficiaries for various centrally sponsored schemes based on Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC), 2011 the data presented by Union Rural Development minister in Parliament on number of people Below Poverty Line (BPL) in the state has stoked confusion over which one of aforementioned lists shall be taken into consideration for selecting beneficiaries.
According to data provided by Union Rural Development minister Ram Kripal Yadav in his written reply in Lok Sabha, there are 1.26 crore people below the poverty line. However, the Odisha government has been using 7 parameters outlined in the SECC-2011 to identify beneficiaries for various welfare schemes.
Notably, there is a long standing tussle between Odisha and the Centre over the BPL list and presentation of BPL data in the parliament added to the confusion while the State is already following the SECC parameters. Moreover, though SECC data is available with the Odisha government, the State is yet to receive the BPL list.
“BPL would depend on the level of deprivation of a particular person. We have no information about the formation of a composite BPL list. However, we have been directed by the Centre to look at the deprivation level prescribed for a particular scheme while implementing the same,” said State Panchayatiraj secretary, Deo Ranjan Singh.
As per the 1997 list, there were 44.93 lakh families in Odisha were below the poverty line. But if the current calculations of the Center are taken into account, the number of BPL families in the State has fallen to 28 lakh, indicating that while number of families has increased in state, poverty has declined.
On the other hand, Odisha Congress has slammed the State government for lacking information on the matter.
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“The number of poor people is increasing day by day. But the State government on one hand is saying poverty has declined, while on the other hand it is asking for help from the Centre citing Odisha is a poor State. The governance is annoying. The truth is, the State government has absolutely no data on the number of poor people,” said Opposition chief whip, Taraprasad Bahinipati.
“The State government has created this confusion over whether to follow the BPL list or the SECC list. The State government has to present a clear picture before the people of the State,” said BJP leader Prithviraj Harichandan.
Notably, MGNREGA, Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana are currently being implemented by the Union Rural Development ministry.