Millennium Post

Forest dwellers out of BPL list

A large number of tribal families living in forests have not been included in the BPL list and a concerned Centre on Monday asked the states to 'correct the huge injustice' meted out to the forest dwellers within 90 days so that they can benefit from government programmes.

Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said he is writing to the Chief Ministers asking them to direct the district collectors to take necessary steps to find 'eligible tribal families residing in forest areas' to be included in the BPL list in three months.

'All efforts should be made to make these tribal families eligible for assistance under the Indira Awaas Yojana and the National Social Assistance Programme. Instructions should be given to the district administration to correct the huge injustice that has been done to the forest-dwelling tribal families,' Ramesh said.

'All administrative formalities should be completed in the next 90 days,' the Minister instructed.

He also said the district authorities can obtain information about the socioeconomic status of such families as per the questionnaire used for the 2002 BPL Census and following the same criteria and procedure.

Based on the data, the district administration can undertake the rectification and families found eligible could be included in the BPL list, the Minister said.

He also asked the states to authorise the flow of benefits available to families living under poverty line to the forest-dwelling tribal families freshly included in the BPL category after the rectification of the BPL list.

The total number of families to be benefited from the Centre's new initiative 'will run into a few lakhs,' Ramesh said.
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