AGARTALA, June 26 (IANS): Ahead of a country-wide survey to determine the number of people living below poverty line (BPL), Tripura's main opposition Congress Sunday claimed that over 100,000 people in the state have fake poverty status cards.
"According to a recent survey conducted by our party, over 105,000 people have been holding fake BPL cards and getting government facilities, including food at concessional rates from ration shops," Tripura opposition leader Ratan Lal Nath said.
These BPL card holders have also been getting facilities in health services, education and other government schemes, he claimed.
Quoting a government circular issued in 1998, Nath told reporters that the Tripura government had categorised those families as BPL whose annual income is Rs.3,370 or Rs.280.85 per month.
"Is it not an impractical formula," he asked.
"During the Congress-led alliance (1988-93), 58 percent people were BPL, now the number is around 68 percent. The number of poor people has increased in the Left rule," he said.
Meanwhile, the Tripura government has started cancelling fake BPL cards.
"The state government, during the past three months, has cancelled 3,964 bogus BPL cards held by state government employees. Disciplinary proceedings have been initiated against them," Tripura Food and Civil Supplies Minister Manik Dey told reporters.
He said that all the 1,653 ration shops in the state will be checked for irregularities in the public distribution system.
After 14 years, India would undertake an ambitious nation-wide BPL survey from June 29 to identify the number of people living below the poverty line.
The survey will rollout from Hezamara rural development block in western Tripura.