UDF claims bouquet for Kerala’s outstanding Multidimensional Poverty Index score

The recognition is an appreciation for the good work done by the UDF government,” said Opposition leader V D Satheesan. 

Published: 28th November 2021 07:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th November 2021 07:23 AM   |  A+A-

Kerala opposition leader VD Satheesan.

Kerala opposition leader VD Satheesan. (File | EPS)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The LDF government’s claim of credit for Kerala’s commendable performance in the first-ever national Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) survey by NITI Aayog was challenged by the Opposition UDF, who pointed out that the baseline report for preparing the index was the fourth national family health survey held in 2015-16.

“The UDF government led by Oommen Chandy was in power when the baseline survey for the MPI was conducted. The recognition is an appreciation for the good work done by the UDF government,” said Opposition leader V D Satheesan. 

While sharing the MPI report highlights on his social media page on Friday night, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, “The efforts of government to ensure welfare of the people despite facing challenges such as pandemic and floods laid the foundation for this achievement.” 

Former CM Oommen Chandy said Pinarayi Vijayan’s claim of laying foundation for the success by overcoming challenges like pandemic and flood might be out of misunderstanding. “I welcome his gesture of taking pride in the achievement. The MPI score of the state has attested the victory of UDF government’s fight against poverty. We had provided free ration, free treatment through Karunya scheme and free meals for school kids. There were strong interventions in market to control prices of essential commodities,” Chandy said. 

Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala, who was the home minister in Chandy’s cabinet, expressed doubt whether the state could retain its position when the updated report based on the latest NFHS came out. “UDF government had initiated several projects to address hunger. This is recognition of pro-people initiatives of that government,” he said. 

P C Vishnunadh, MLA, said the efforts of CPM to stake claim for the achievement during the regime of previous UDF government were shameful. “The excellence in indices is the result of collective efforts of all governments that had ruled Kerala and Travancore-Kochi. It may be recalled that several welfare initiatives were the contribution of Congress-led governments. It was R Sankar who introduced welfare pension scheme,” said Vishnunadh.

In the MPI report released on Friday by Niti Aayog, Kerala with a score of 0.71 was selected as the Indian state with the least poverty. Goa with a score of 3.76 is the second best state while  Bihar with a score of 51.91 is the worst performer, as per the MPI prepared based on the FHS 4 conducted during 2015-16.

“The measure has been finalised by using 12 factors covering areas such as health and nutrition, education and standard of living. It has been envisaged as a comprehensive tool to expedite goal-oriented action to measure multi-dimensional poverty and steer its systematic eradication,” said Dr Rajiv Kumar, vice chairman of NITI, while releasing the report.


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