The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has urged the Union government to reject the report of the expert committee headed by noted economist C. Rangarajan, recommending a methodology for measurement of poverty in the country.

“Going by the recommendations, it is very clear that people who are not aware of poverty have been entrusted with the task of assessing the poverty prevailing in the country, which is very unfortunate,” said S. Prasannakumar, member of the National Committee of CITU.

Addressing presspersons here on Tuesday, Mr. Prasannakumar criticised the recommendations that anyone spending more than Rs. 47 a day in cities and Rs. 32 in villages would not be poor. He said the report was anti-human and needs to be strongly condemned. The government should order for fresh assessment of poverty using a scientific measurement, he noted.

Mr. Prasannakumar, while stating that as per the standards laid down by the government, a person should eat the required foodgrains to enable him to get 2,800 calories of energy a day.

According to the government’s study, a family needed Rs. 15,000 a month to enable it to have two square meals. The new measurement of poverty suggested by the Rangarajan Committee was only to bring down the number of poor in the country, he charged.

Mr. Prasannakumar demanded the State government to order a judicial inquiry into the recent police firing in Kudagi in Bijapur district that injured two farmers. “Chief Minister Siddaramaiah should stop shedding crocodile tears over the incident, which only indicates his incapability. Ordering a magisterial inquiry into the police firing incident is only an eye-wash. Mr. Siddaramaiah should order a judicial inquiry into the incident and give a time frame within which the report should be submitted. Based on the report, stern action should be initiated against all those responsible for the incident,” he said.

CITU conference from Friday

A.K. Padma-nabhan, president of Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), will inaugurate the four-day national general council meeting being held here from July 11 to 14.

The meeting, being held for the first time in the northern part of Karnataka and the second time in south India in the recent past, would discuss several prominent issues, including the anti-labour policies pursued by the present NDA government, non-payment of minimum wages, ill-effects of contract labour system, problems facing the working class, common man, especially with the failure of the Union government to control the skyrocketing of the prices of the essential commodities among other things, and chalk out a plan of action in the matter, Prasannakumar, member of the national committee of CITU, told presspersons here on Tuesday.

Around 500 delegates from across the country will attend the meeting. After three days of deliberations, the meeting would conclude with a public meeting on July 14 at Tekur Subramanyam park, adjacent to BUDA complex in which more than 15,000 CITU activists would be participating, he said. Prior to that, CITU activists would take out a procession in the city.

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