The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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SC notice to Centre on poverty

New Delhi, March 3: The Supreme Court today issued notices to the Centre on its reported decision to cut down the number of “below-poverty-line families”, reports our legal correspondent.

In response to a public interest litigation, the court asked the attorney-general to answer — if the reports are correct — why the Centre proposed to reduce the number of BPL families.

The petition asked on what grounds the Centre proposed to reduce the number of BPL families and what yardstick was being adopted to do so.

The Centre was also asked whether supply of foodgrain under the Antyodaya Yojna has also been reduced.

Attorney-general Soli Sorabjee told the court that enough budgetary allocation has been made for the project that seeks to benefit the “poorest of the poor”.

Earlier, the apex court had ordered the government to distribute the foodgrain rotting in the godowns “free of cost” to the poor. The Centre then formulated the “food-for-work” scheme under which the poor worked for the government or government agencies in return for the foodgrain.

However, the petition contended that even this supply of foodgrain was reduced from 10 kg per day of work to each BPL family to 5 kg.

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