1,359 families were added to the BPL list in 'developed Gujarat' in 2 years 

“In 1999-2000, the number of poor families was 26.19 lakhs, but it has now risen to 31 lakhs, so within a span of 22 years," said economist Hemant Kumar Singh. 

Published: 21st March 2023 07:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st March 2023 07:50 PM   |  A+A-

rich and poor poverty

Express Illustration: Amit Bandre

Express News Service

AHMEDABAD: In the midst of claims of development in Gujarat, the government admitted in the Gujarat Assembly on Wednesday that the number of families living below poverty line has increased in the last two years. According to information provided by the Gujarat government in the Legislative Assembly, the number of families living below the poverty line in Gujarat has increased by 1359 in the last two years.

In various written replies tabled by the government during Question Hour, the Government stated that more than 31.67 lakh BPL families exist in the state as on January 31, 2023, while 11 families were removed from the BPL list in 2021 and 2022.

Economists are concerned about the rise in the number of BPL card holders, pointing out that this is the number of households enrolled as per a survey that was conducted 20 years ago; if the Gujarat government conducts a new survey at this time, the number may rise rather than fall. 

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Professor and economist Hemant Kumar Shah said, "It is painful to have such numbers of poor families in the state when you claim Gujarat is a developed state and present Gujarat Development as a model before the country and the world."

"Gujarat's per capita income is significantly higher than the average national per capita income. Still, this income has not percolated to the lowest members of Gujarat society, which is why the number of poor families has increased," he added. 

Shah Said, “The Gujarat government last conducted a survey of BPL families 20 years ago, indicating that the government is avoiding a new survey about BPL cards, which was last conducted in 2002-2003 and is desperately needed after the covid epidemic.”

The Gujarat government also admitted before the state legislature that the most recent BPL list survey was completed in 2002–2003.

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“In 1999-2000, the number of poor families was 26.19 lakhs, but it has now risen to 31 lakhs, so within a span of 22 years, the number of BPL families has increased, and if the government conducts a new survey, I am sure another five lakhs will be added. Because of the Corona epidemic, the middle class's situation is deteriorating, and they are heavily indebted,” said Hemant Kumar Shah. 

Amreli district registered the newest BPL families (425), according to government data. 309 families were added to Amreli's BPL list in 2021, while 116 families were added in 2022. In the past two years, the district's list has had three families removed from it.

Tribal Dominated Sabarkantha comes in second after Amreli, with 301 BPL families, followed by Banaskanta (199), Anand (168), and Junagadh (149). Surat, Vadodara, Chotta Udepur, Botad, and Narmada were among the 29 districts where no new BPL families were added.

In India, a daily spend of Rs. 27.2 in rural regions and Rs. 33.3 in urban areas are considered to be below the poverty line.


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  • chandrasekaran

    Gujarat model.
    6 months ago reply
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