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BPL (Below Poverty Line) - Definition & Advantages of BPL | What is BPL?

BPL (Below Poverty Line) Overview

BPL is a government measure in India used to identify individuals or families in need of assistance. Various programs help meet their basic living requirements. 

Factors Defining BPL 

  1. Residential Type
  2. Children's Status
  3. Consumer Products
  4. Food Security
  5. Clothing
  6. Literacy
  7. Land Ownership
  8. Sanitation, etc.

Income and India's Poverty Line

Established in 2000, the poverty threshold considers food and financial needs. The poverty line's cost is based on grain costs that fulfill the required calorie intake. Adjustments are made annually considering inflation. 

BPL Historical Context

Initially, the minimal expenditure on state-funded healthcare and education was ₹20 in rural areas and ₹25 in urban areas per person (1962). It was revised in the '70s to Rs. 49.1 and Rs. 56.7 for rural and urban areas respectively per day. State-level poverty rates were established in 1993. In 2012, 29.5% of Indians were below the poverty line. By 2014, this percentage had grown to 38%. 

BPL Characteristics

The World Bank sets a $1.90 per day benchmark for poverty. India initially used a food standard, but switched to an individual's spending on necessary items such as food, transport, clothing, rent, fuel, power, and education. 

BPL Card Benefits

The BPL card identifies families in need and provides them with assistance. Benefits include: 

  • Access to government schemes and benefits like subsidized food grains, education, and free healthcare.
  • Priority access to social welfare programs such as housing schemes, electricity subsidies, and employment opportunities.
  • Access to essential services through grants, scholarships, and reservations in government positions and educational institutions.

Additional Initiatives

  • National Rural Health Mission
  • Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA)
  • National Rural Employment Guarantee (NREGA)
  • Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY)