Bhubaneswar: Orissa`s Panchayati Raj
minister Prafulla Samal on Thursday blamed the Centre for not
providing guidelines for drawing up the BPL list in the state
after he was criticised by the treasury and Opposition benches
for not being able to prepare a fresh list even 13 years after
the one published in 1997.
Stating that the repeated reminders to the Centre for
guidelines to prepare BPL list had not been responded to,
Samal said "members must realise the reality and find out
cause of delay in preparation of the BPL list instead of
blaming the state government."
Replying to a debate on the BPL list, he said he was
ready to quit if he failed to prepare a fresh list within two
months of getting the guidelines.
Congress members walked out of the House in protest.
Stating that number of poor families had increased,
ruling BJD member Pradeep Maharathy wanted to know exactly
when the state government would be able to release the new BPL
BJD`s Jiban Pradip Das and many others also expressed
displeasure over delay in preparation of the new BPL list.
According to 1997 BPL list, there were 44.93 poor
households in the state and the Centre had asked the Orissa
government to limit the number of BPL households to within 38
lakh in the subsequent survey in 2002.
"As the central directive intended to reduce the
number of BPL households, we use 1997 list in order to cover
maximum families," the minister said.
Congress Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan told reporters
outside the House, "We wanted a specific reply from the
minister on when exactly the state government would be able
to release a fresh BPL list. But he failed to reply on some
plea or the other."
Rejecting the minister`s allegation, the Congress
leader alleged that though the Centre had given its consent
on use of 2002 BPL list while implementing welfare schemes,
the state government continued to take the 1997 BPL list as
its yard stick.
"Poor people in Orissa do not get benefit from many
national welfare programmes like National Old Age pension,
National Health Insurance and others," Harichandan said.
Congress member S S Saluja said that the minister had
earlier announced in the assembly that new BPL list would be
released on October 2 and after failing to meet the deadline
said the list would be made public on January 30.