Orissa flays Centre's pressure to downsize BPL list

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 3 (UNI) The Orissa government today accused the Centre of putting pressure on downsizing the BPL list as per the adjusted share formula adopted by the Planning Commission.

In a press release, the state Panchayat Raj department here said the Union Rural Development Ministry was repeatedly threatening to stop fund allocation for implementing various welfare schemes in the state if it failed to accept the new BPL list which would deprive over 10 lakh BPL families figured in the 1997 list.

It said various poverty eradication programmes were now being implemented in the state as per the 1997 survey which identified 44.45 lakh BPL families in the state.

The economic survey, conducted in 2002, identified 78.73 families under the BPL but the Adjusted Share formula adopted in the survey had reduced the BPL families in the state to 34 lakh.

The government said different criteria for different states were adopted to fix the size of BPL families in which states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu were benefited much while Orissa was discriminated.

The release said instead of accepting the justified demand of the state government, the Centre had been pressurising Orissa to stick to the Adjusted Share Formula and downsize the BPL list The state government, had meanwhile, launched schemes like ''Mo kudia'', Madhu Babu Pension Scheme and subsidised rice for nearly ten lakh BPL families who were likely to be dropped from the 1997 BPL list as per the new formula.

Former chief minister and senior Congress leader J B Patnaik has criticised the state government for blaming the Centre for downsizing the BPL list.

In a statement here, he said the 2002 survey was conducted while the NDA government was at the Centre and BJD-BJP alliance at the helm of affairs in the state.

The government, he said did not oppose the formula and went ahead with the new BPL list but now trying to resort to vilification campaign against the Centre to avoid the public wrath.

UNI BD DP LL SP KP2119

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