The list of Below Poverty Line (BPL) families would be revised and updated at meetings of Gram Sabha in all 3,243 Panchayats of the state, the Himachal Pradesh Assembly was informed today.
The government will send its representatives to supervise the process for inclusion of all left-out poor families in a transparent manner, state Rural Development and Panchayat Minister Anil Sharma said during Question Hour.
Replying to a question of Maheshwar Singh (HLP), Sharma said the government will consider all suggestions of the MLAs to ensure that ineligible families, wrongly included in the list, are deleted and those meeting the criteria are included and given the benefits of government schemes for the poor.
The Gram Sabhas would be asked to adopt most transparent mechanism, leaving no room for any ineligible persons to take advantage and provide opportunity to left out eligible people to file an appeal get their names included, he said.
The assurance came in the wake of allegations made by Jagjivan Pal (Congress) that the previous BJP government included certain ineligible persons in BPL list using political influence and muscle power.
In his intervention, Leader of Opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal admitted that despite state government's best efforts to clean up and updates the list, several irregularities have been reported in the BPL list.
"One way to update the list and include eligible left out families is to invite written recommendations for consideration and scrutiny in the Gram Sabhas," he suggested.
Former Rural Development and Panchayati Raj minister Jairam Thakur said the list was updated but it is also a fact that some poor people did not raise their voices in the Gram Sabhas to file objections against influential people and were excluded from BPL list.
Moreover, the government has fixed the number of BPL families at 2.85 lakh, leaving no scope for inclusion of more people, he said.
Sharma said, "In 2008 and 2011, when the BPL lists were updated, there was deletion of 15,669 families and 31,209 families which were wrongly included in the list".
"All suggestions given by the MLAs in the House will be considered to make the process absolutely transparent," he said.