Rejecting widespread criticism for pegging the poverty line at Rs. 28.65 daily consumption, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Saturday asserted that the number of poor in the country has come down irrespective of the method of calculation.
“Whatever poverty line you choose. The point is poverty in the country is going down. Some people have said that it is not correct...poverty is not going down…I reject that view...I categorically say whatever indicator you use things are getting better in this country,” Mr. Ahluwalia said.
As per the Commission's estimates, based on the Tendulkar Committee formula, poverty ratio has declined to 29.8 per cent in 2009-10, from 37.2 per cent in 2004-05. But the ratio has been worked out based on a controversial per capita daily consumption of Rs. 28.65 in cities and Rs. 22.42 in rural areas.
Mr. Ahluwalia, who was talking to reporters after the ground-breaking ceremony of the Trident group's textile unit, however, said, “the Tendulkar Committee line...I think, is quite reasonable. Today, we are growing faster.”
He also said the Rs. 28.65 poverty line would not be linked with the social sector schemes of the government.
“The Commission will take a holistic view with what poverty line, we want to go ahead. It is clear that we are not linking it with the beneficiaries of the social sector schemes,” he said.