Mumbai: The NCP on Thursday called for amending the poverty criterion in the state keeping in mind the increase in prices of essential commodities over the last decade.

APL and BPL household income criteria of Rs one lakh and Rs 24,000 per year respectively was fixed 15 years ago and this needs to be changed, party spokesperson Nawab Malik said, noting that the new norms should reflect the current situation.

"Its wrong to continue with this because times have changed with price rise." He was referring to Thursday's decision by the state government to provide three extra subsidised LPG cylinders to families with an annual income of less than Rs 1 lakh.

Malik praised Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan for taking decisions of starting cotton purchase centres and raising the quota of subsidised LPG cylinders. "We hope the speed of decision making continues in the coming months," he said.

Meanwhile, speaking separately with reporters earlier, former Deputy Chief Minister and NCP leader Ajit Pawar sought to downplay speculation that the proposed white paper on irrigation will give him a clean chit and he would be back in the Cabinet.

"Nothing like that. NCP is being unnecessarily maligned. White paper will bring facts before the people. I resigned to avoid criticism that I may influence the white paper or any probe," he said. Pawar had resigned in September over allegations of irregularities in award of irrigation contracts when he was water resources minister between 1999 and 2009.

(Agencies)


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