(a) the criteria laid down for determining poor to avail benefits under the Below Poverty Line (BPL) norms and the estimated number of people living below poverty line in the country and the details of facilities extended to them by the Government;

(b) whether the Government has any proposal to revise the BPL definition;

(c) if so, the details thereof;

(d) the number of more persons likely to avail the benefits;

(e) whether the Government provides any special assistance or grants to BPL farmers households in the country; and

(f) if so, the details thereof?

Answer given by the minister


(a) to (f): The Ministry of Rural Development provides financial and technical support to the States/UTs for conducting the BPL Census to identify the families living Below the Poverty Line in the rural areas who could be targeted under its programmes. The last BPL Census was conducted in 2002 using the methodology of score based ranking of rural households for which 13 socio-economic parameters were used on the recommendation of an Expert Group constituted by the Ministry of Rural Development.

The Ministry of Rural Development is implementing Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY)/ National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY), National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) and the Ministry of Drinking water and Sanitation is implementing Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) for benefit of persons living Below Poverty Line (BPL) in rural areas of the country including BPL farmers. The Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY)/National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) is designed as a holistic self employment scheme aimed at providing sustainable income to rural BPL families through income generating assets / economic activities so as to bring them out of the poverty line. Under the scheme the rural poor (BPL) are provided facilities for capacity building & training, provision of revolving fund, making available credit and subsidy, technology, infrastructure & marketing. Under Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) help in shape of lump sum financial assistance is provided to BPL households for construction/upgradation of dwelling units. Under Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) incentive is provided to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families for construction and use of household toilets. Under National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) Pension/Financial Assistance is provided exclusively to persons belonging to BPL families.

The Planning Commission is the nodal agency for estimating poverty in the country. The methodology for estimation of poverty is reviewed by the Planning Commission from time to time. Accordingly, the Planning Commission constituted an Expert Group under the Chairmanship of Prof. Suresh D. Tendulkar in December, 2005. The Tendulkar Committee submitted its report in December, 2009. The poverty lines for 2004-05 as recommended by the Tendulkar Committee at all India level were per capita per month consumer expenditure of Rs 446.68 and Rs.578.80 for rural and urban areas respectively. These have been accepted by the Planning Commission. It is estimated that 407.6 million persons were living below the poverty line in the country as per the latest estimates for 2004-05.