As of now, families earning below Rs 4,824 a month are put in the bracket of urban poor.
The move comes as the ministry is finding it difficult to identify beneficiaries in metropolises and other cities, where few families earn below the BPL cutoff while many of them live in vulnerable conditions.
It has also been noticed that income certificates are forged or are being procured after bribing officials.
As the socio-economic census is going on across the country, the ministry is working on a mechanism according to which urban poor will be defined according to people’s vulnerabilities. Under the mechanism, families will be divided into two groups — those automatically included the other automatically excluded — in the poverty bracket.
Those automatically included in the poverty bracket will be the homeless and jobless. Automatically excluded will be families with a pakka house, motor vehicle or electronic appliances such as air-conditioner or refrigerator.
Those included will be graded by the ministry on the basis of economic, social, occupational and housing vulnerabilities. Based on data from the caste census, families will be graded and assigned points according to their needs.
“The formula will help in identifying poor in terms of vulnerabilities and government schemes will target the vulnerable group. It will result in better targeting,” housing and urban poverty alleviation minister Ajay Makentold TOI, adding that the identification of urban poor will be based on the recommendations of the Hashim committee.
“Those living in slums will automatically be eligible for benefits under the slum-rehabilitation scheme,” the minister said.
The new mechanism is also aimed at ensuring distribution of benefits of government schemes to city-specific “vulnerable” basket as per the specific needs in a particular city.
Once the census is complete, the city-specific urban poor basket will be ready. “We will take it up with other ministries also to adopt the new criteria,” Maken said.