Planning Commission plans reforms to estimate poverty

(IBNS) A senior Planning Commission of India official on Thursday said a single poverty number couldn’t measure the actual poverty in the country and hence the organisation along with the ministry is in the process of making reforms to measure the problem in ‘multiform’ process.

The Planning Commission drew flak following the releasing of its latest data on poverty estimates which says a person with a daily consumption expenditure of Rs. 28.35 and Rs. 22.42 in urban and rural areas respectively is above the poverty line.

With the publication of this, many political leaders also asked for the resignation of Deputy Chairman of the Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

A member of Planning Commission Arun Maira on Thursday said, “One poverty line for the measurement of poverty is going to be worst. So we are in the process to measure the poverty on the basis of various deprivation.”

“This measurement of number ranges from food deprivation, housing deprivation, sanitation, education and many more deprivation because any simple form of measurement with one number does not work and it does not fit for everything,” he told reporter on the occasion of Annual General Meeting of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here.

On the criticism from all around and ruckus in the lower house created by opposition parties over the new poverty line proposed by Planning Commission, he said, “It is wrongly projected that no one in the country is poor. Yes, of course those who earn Rs. 32 daily are poor. But we are planning to make poorer more and more richer, and faster.”

The commission along with different ministries is planning to measure the poverty level on various aspects and it is based on different deprivation of people ranging from food deprivation to sanitation deprivation in different society, he said.

Maira also clarified that the presentation of poverty line is a socio-political judgement, and “we along with many organs of the government present the solution and future planning for betterment of the people.”

Explaining the purpose of poverty line he said, “We use poverty line to determine what assistance should be given to people, what deprivation should be taken into account. So, according to the people’s need we will raise our standard . After that we determine what assistance should be given to people.”

(Reporting by Pratik Singh)

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