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New criteria to identify BPL families soon

To formulate guidelines for this, the Union government had constituted an expert group headed by economist Suresh D Tendulkar

Agartala: The Government of India will soon announce new criteria for identifying Below Poverty Line (BPL) families.

To formulate guidelines to identify BPL families across the country, the union government had constituted an expert group headed by renowned economist Suresh D Tendulkar.

"The Tendulkar committee a month back submitted its report to the government and now the centre and the Planning Commission are examining the report and its recommendations," Minister of State for Planning and Parliamentary Affairs V Narayanasamy said.

For some years now, the Union government has been under pressure to change the norms for calculating the official poverty line.

In the Guwahati meeting last week of the North Eastern Council (NEC), a regional planning body, the matter was discussed and the centre was urged to modify the criteria to select BPL families, reports IANS.

"The poverty estimates of the Planning Commission show that the northeast region has less BPL families than the rest of the country," Meghalaya Chief Minister DD Lapang said in the NEC meeting.

According to the Planning Commission's latest estimate (for 2004-2005), 37.2 per cent families in India are BPL while the figure for the eight northeastern states is 27 per cent.

Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said not only the northeast but other states in India too have been demanding amendments to norms to choose BPL people.

"Actual identification of the BPL families should be done by the respective state governments through a detailed survey on the basis of a national yardstick," Sarkar said at the NEC meet.

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