Urban BPL committee to submit report in 4 months

With an eye on the proposed National Food Security legislation, the government has set up an expert panel for identification of families living Below Poverty Line (BPL) in urban areas. The panel has been asked to submit its report in the next four months.

The eight-member panel is headed by former Planning Commission member and economist S R Hashim and also includes Chief Statistician of India Pronab Sen as its member. The other members include K L Datta, former Chief Economic Adviser to the Rural Development Ministry, and Ramesh Ramanathan, founder of Bangalore-based Janaagraha.

The panel has been asked to develop an appropriate methodology with simple, transparent and objectively measurable indicators, to identify BPL families in urban areas for providing assistance under various schemes.

Unlike rural BPL identification carried out on the basis of parameters set out by the Rural Development Ministry, the states have been devising their own methodology to conduct BPL surveys in urban areas. The recommendations of the panel are likely to put in place a uniform criteria to identify BPL households in urban areas.

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