Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to roll back the Centre’s decision to go by Tendulkar Committee report to decide BPL numbers which, he said, put an “arbitrary cap” for a state government on its BPL beneficiaries. Kumar has asked the Centre to set up an independent BPL commission to fix number of beneficiaries for fair play.
In a letter to PM, the Bihar CM wrote: “I seek your urgent intervention to roll back the decision of ministries of Rural Development and Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation to use the BPL numbers as estimated by Tendulkar Committee Report.”
Nitish contended that BPL number people should be decided by “findings of socio-economic census”. A pre-determined BPL ceiling, as currently proposed, “would not correspond to ground reality and would hamper state governments” to deal with poverty alleviation,” he said. Nitish further cautioned the Centre against arbitrary cap. “Some states may want to inflate the numbers of those living in poverty in an effort to attract more Central grants,” he said.
Bihar has been trying to impress upon the Centre for long about the state having 1.45 crore BPL families as against the Centre’s estimate of 65 lakh BPL families for which grant is provided.