The inclusion of names in West Bengal’s Below Poverty Line (BPL) list should not be determined by political considerations but by economic benchmark, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said here on Wednesday.
“The list must be prepared on the basis of one’s economic status and poverty and not on the basis of political considerations,” Mr. Bhattacharjee told a workshop organised by the State’s Panchayat and Rural Development Department, in which “sabadhipatis” of various zilla parishads were present, among others. Members of the Trinamool Congress did not attend.
For dependable list
While stressing the importance of speeding up the revision of the BPL list, he said that though “it could not be 100 per cent accurate,” attempts should be made to make it “90 to 95 per cent correct.”
“What is imperative is that a dependable BPL list be prepared for the State,” he said.
This could mean that the names of some of those not strictly eligible could be dropped from the list.
“But you must include those from among the poor whose names have been left out,” Mr. Bhattacharjee said.
“Does one see whether they are supporters of a party or whether they are poor while preparing a BPL list?”
The Chief Minister urged representatives of the rural bodies to weed out corruption from their ranks and desist from pursuing narrow political interests in the execution of development schemes.
Underlining the achievements of the Left Front government towards devolution of powers, Mr. Bhattacharjee said that though panchayats had been set up, “we need to be aware of what we have not been able to achieve.”
He called for a more inclusive approach to the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) by involving a greater number of State departments.
“There are many areas where development work can be done through the NREGA,” Mr. Bhattacharjee said, listing some of these as anti-erosion projects, rainwater harvesting schemes, social forestry and horticulture.