Latest Poverty Line Joke – A New Number Game

The Planning Commission has now proposed that people spending above Rs 32 per day in urban areas and Rs 26 in the rural areas are not considered poor as far as the Indian government is concerned. It claimed to have reworked Kelkar Committee’s recommendations on the price level of June 2011. In May 2011, the Supreme Court found Planners suggestion of using Rs 20 per day for urban areas and Rs 15 for rural areas as cut off line, highly unrealistic and asked it to be revised on current price levels.

According to the Planning Commission’s new numerical jugglery, it places 40.74 crore (407 million) people below poverty line.  In terms of monthly income, people earning below Rs 965 per month in urban areas and below Rs 781 in the rural areas are counted as official poor. At June 2011 price level, for a family of five, this provisional poverty line would amount to Rs. 4,824 per month in urban areas and Rs. 3,905 per month in rural areas. Currently, the public distribution services (PDS) cover 35.98 crore people.

So, now the Indian government officially recognizes that one-third of India’s population is poor. To be more correct, it only means one in every three Indian is facing hunger and lives under the shadow of starvation.

You may also be interested in reading:

Poverty in India: Where is the Poverty Line?
Rediscovering the Multidimensional Nature of Poverty
Understanding Indian Poverty through the Hunger Index

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