Govt may change Rs 32/day BPL norm



Govt may change Rs 32/day BPL norm New Delhi: Government today indicated that the Planning Commission could change its controversial affidavit on BPL, which had held that people earning more than Rs 25 in rural areas and Rs 32 in urban areas do not come under this category of the poor.

"These figures could undergo a change, who knows some other statistics may come up, which is acceptable to Planning Commission.

"There is concern among people. There is a certain disquiet in the civil society and some sections. They believe the statistics are perhaps somewhat removed from the reality," Minister of Information and Broadcasting Ambika Soni told reporters here.

Asked about the open letter written by two prominent social activists and NAC members Aruna Roy and Harsh Mander to Planning Commission Chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia questioning the affidavit by the plan panel, Soni said, "I too may have some questions on the figures that has been given. Many people have questions on the affidavit."

Mandar and Roy have reportedly asked Ahluwalia to withdraw the poverty line affidavit filed by the panel before the Supreme Court or resign.

Noting that Roy and Mandar are "prominent" members of the civil society, Soni said the government is waiting for the Planning Commission's final document.

Soni insisted that the affidavit submitted by the plan panel before the Supreme Court is not a final document.

"Planning Commission had given an affidavit. When we asked for information from the panel regarding it, we were told that it an initial document and not a final document," she said.

PTI