Faced with conflicting estimates on the number of poor in the country, the Centre will undertake a fresh census to ascertain the number of families living Below Poverty Line from June this year.
Rural Development Minister Vilasrao Dershmukh also warned Jharkhand that it could face a drought of central funds for schemes like MNREGA if it failed to bring to book people behind the murders of activists involved in auditing of MNREGA scheme in the state. He said his ministry has also written to the DoPT for a CBI probe into the cases.
He was replying to the discussion in the Lok Sabha on Monday on the demands for grants of the Rural Development Ministry which were later approved by the House by a voice vote after negating all cut motions.The Minister said his Ministry has also decided to refer complaints of serious nature to the CBI for probe.
BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, who hails from Jharkhand, appealed to the Minister that the Centre should not “punish” the people by stopping the money for the welfare schemes. Deshmukh said the intention was not to punish the people but to give a wake up call to the state government.
“If it responds properly, we have no problem,” he said.
On fresh census for BPL, he said the principle of exclusion and inclusion recommended in the Saxena Committee report would be taken into consideration in the new exercise.
Deshmukh said fresh guidelines for the survey have been laid and the survey is being made after a gap of almost 10 years with the last one held in the NDa rule in 2002-03.