New Delhi: The latest classification of BPL by the Planning Commission has become a cause of worry for several state governments as it will now lead to huge differences between the Central and state government statistics of the number of poor.

While the percentage of poor has increased, especially when compared vis-à-vis rising inflation and escalating cost of living, the new formula to classify poor will officially bring down the numbers in the record.

Though Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahuwalia has said that the new BPL classification will not be used for framing poverty alleviation schemes, the state governments are wary about the effect of the new classification of BPL.

The benchmark of those earning Rs 32 in urban areas and Rs 26 in rural areas per day will not be counted as BPL will have some serious bearing in states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa, a sizeable population lives below poverty line.

In Bihar while the data shows 65 lakh families to be under BPL, the state claims at 1 crore people under the category. Similarly, Jharkhand claims to have 35 lakh people under BPL against the official figures of 25 lakh. The state governments feel the additional BPl families would be affected by the new classification.

The Jharkhand government is presently running all its welfare schemes for poor keeping 23.98 lakh BPL families in mind. However, it wants to include additional 11 lakh families under these schemes.

Citing the NC Saxena Committee report that fixed the number of rural population to 82 percent, Jharkhand argues for inclusion for more people under BPL.

JPN/Bureau