BPL stands for Below Poverty Line and this refers to a benchmark in India for classifying people are literally very poor. In terms of economic status, people who fall under the BPL category are those that cannot afford basic needs like food, shelter, and clothing. Different states across India set different parameters in classifying people who will become eligible for various government subsidies and grants. Families and individuals who are very poor may apply for BPL status and get the appropriate benefits. The following are some benefits of being part of the BPL class in India:
Food rations and subsidies
People who are part of the BPL or Below Poverty Line class may be able to purchase basic food items such as rice and other grains at much lower prices compared to standard prices for regular citizens. The government offers subsidized rates of about 2-5 rupees per kilo of rice and other grains. At this rate, it will be much easier for people under the BBL class to get food on a daily basis. Some states allow for about 35kg of subsidies for rice and grains every single month. Other states meanwhile have higher maximum levels for grains. The basic reason for putting a maximum cap for the food subsidies is to discourage the poor people under the BBL class to sell the grains rather than consume them for their own. There are also government subsidies for other food items like vegetables and sugar for example. A qualified BBL family may get up to 5 kilos of free sugar and up to 15 kilos of onions or potatoes every single month.
Special housing schemes
Families and individuals that are classified as BPL in India may also avail of several housing schemes. These housing projects are typically offered at very low and discounted prices. The basic purpose of these housing programs by the Indian government is to help the poor families of India get a decent and safe place to call home. Various areas and districts across India implement several housing schemes with many of the buildings constructed as apartments. These apartments could cost as low as Rs 20 lakh or even lower in various parts of India. Typical apartments have 2 bedrooms that can accomodate a family of about 5 persons. For people who have existing houses and apartments, the Indian government also offers aid and assistance in terms of repair and maintenance. With BPL cards, people can get these services at subsidized rates.
Health insurance and benefits
Aside from housing and food subsidies, people who belong to the BBL class are also offered health insurance benefits. Many states across India offer various types of medical insurance covering hospital stay and some medicines. Qualified BPL families and members may avail of up to 30,000 rupees of medical benefits every year.
People who are very poor in India simply need to register and get their own BPL identification card. Each state has different processes and guidelines in terms of BPL qualifications. Families that have no access to safe and potable water are typically accepted as members of the BPL class. Households with no member having a regular job may also qualify for gaining BPL status.