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80% of Karnataka under poverty? CM Siddaramaiah orders action on bogus BPL cards

Siddaramaiah noted that the percentage of people holding BPL cards in Tamil Nadu is 40 per cent. Also, he said that only 5.67 per cent of citizens in Karnataka should be BPL as per NITI Aayog. However, 1.47 crore households having 4.67 crore people have BPL cards.
Last Updated : 08 July 2024, 15:33 IST

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Bengaluru: How is it that 80 per cent of citizens in Karnataka are below the poverty line (BPL)?

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday latched on to this mind-boggling figure during the start of his two-day review meeting with the state's administrative machinery and ordered a crackdown on bogus BPL cards.

Siddaramaiah noted that the percentage of people holding BPL cards in Tamil Nadu is 40 per cent. Also, he said that only 5.67 per cent of citizens in Karnataka should be BPL as per NITI Aayog. However, 1.47 crore households having 4.67 crore people have BPL cards.

“We need to eliminate all bogus cards while issuing new BPL cards to those genuinely poor,” Siddaramaiah said.

According to the food & civil supplies department, there are 2.95 lakh new ration card (BPL) applications pending.

Between December 2021 and February 2024, authorities have deleted 6.17 lakh dead BPL members.

Cleaning up the BPL database is crucial for Siddaramaiah, the finance minister, as the government is spending over Rs 8,000 crore this year under the Anna Bhagya scheme. The BPL database is also the basis for the Gruha Lakshmi scheme, the biggest of the five guarantees that costs over Rs 28,000 crore.

Siddaramaiah also pointed out that Karnataka has 76 lakh pensioners. This, he said, makes Karnataka among the highest pension-paying states in India. "Officials must take immediate steps to stop pension payments once the receiver is dead. Similarly, officials should take steps to complete the process of mapping two lakh accounts with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)," he said.

During the meeting, Siddaramaiah said officers should complete construction of individual toilets in the state. “The state had set a target of building 4.34 lakh toilets. But as of now, only 98,000 toilets are completed and work orders for 2.86 lakh toilets are yet to be issued," he said.

Taking exception to the pendency in allocating land to tribal communities living in forests, Siddaramaiah directed officials to take steps to expedite 26,126 applications on this front. The government should also take steps to develop road network in remote forest areas where tribals live, he added.

Siddaramaiah asked officials to expedite identification of land to build 70 new Indira canteens in Bengaluru.

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Published 08 July 2024, 15:33 IST

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