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Updated: October 4, 2011 02:49 IST

No poverty line cap for social schemes, food entitlement: Montek

Gargi Parsai
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Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia along with Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: Ramesh Sharma
Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia along with Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: Ramesh Sharma

Planning Commission won't alter its affidavit in court

Under attack for its Rs. 26 and Rs. 32 per capita cut-off for rural and urban poverty line, the Planning Commission on Monday admitted that the benchmark was “very low,” but said it would not alter or withdraw its affidavit in the Supreme Court on the issue as it was “factual.”

In a damage-control exercise, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, however, declared at a press conference that the government favoured de-linking of food entitlement and other social programmes from the present poverty line that was derived from the Suresh Tendulkar Committee's findings.

This may require amendments to the draft National Food Security Bill, which was posted on the Food Ministry's website for public comments.

The Bill provides for grains entitlement to 75 per cent of the rural population, with a minimum of 46 per cent households as ‘priority.' It is this ceiling on the number of ‘eligible' poor households that the civil society is opposing.

“The present State-wise poverty estimates using the Planning Commission's methodology will not be used to impose any ceiling on the number of households to be included in different government programmes,” said a joint statement issued by Mr. Ahluwalia and Mr. Ramesh.

The new methodology for determining poor households in rural areas would be based on the socio-economic caste census that was expected to be completed by January 2012.

The census would take into account deprivations based on seven indicators worked out by the Rural Development Ministry. A similar census in urban areas would be undertaken later.

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The daily food budget for a convict in jail varies from Rs 40- 75, and for a law abiding, tax-payer its 32 Rs. Chak de India :)

from:  Sab
Posted on: Oct 4, 2011 at 12:40 IST

everything connected with the congress and the present people in power is nothing but fooling the public...even a small child knows that Rs 32.00 a day is nothing...And when there was 2G scam, the GREAT Sibal told that there is ZERO loss to the exchequer...

from:  Rajendra Pai
Posted on: Oct 4, 2011 at 11:30 IST

Arrogance... the only word..Just goes to show that these guys are way off the mark.. now i see >reason why we indians' believe in god more than others across the globe..

from:  AJay
Posted on: Oct 4, 2011 at 11:13 IST

The planning commission submits false affidavit in supreme court. They say those with earning of rs.32 are not poor.Means they are rich. After 60+ years of independance they could not find who is poor and who is not. This planning commission is planning how to decieve the poor. Mr.ahluwalia and planing commission members should resign immediately. They are drawing salary which belongs to the poor.

from:  Ganapathy Hegde
Posted on: Oct 4, 2011 at 11:10 IST

Is it not an insult to the teeming millions. Perhaps the present day triumvirates - Manmohan Singh, Montek Singh, P.Chidhambaram - are reminiscent of the wife of French Emperor Mary Antionette, asking the people to eat cakes when they c'ld'nt even have bread. They are incapable of ruling India as they are busy oiling and feeding the rich corporates while at the same time, given an opportunity they only serve the American interests at the altar of million hungry Indians.

from:  M.S.Chagla
Posted on: Oct 4, 2011 at 10:39 IST

Unfortunately, we are in a society where we can't even define the right parameters... “The present State-wise poverty estimates using the Planning Commission's methodology will not be used to impose any ceiling on the number of households to be included in different government programmes,” said a joint statement issued by Mr. Ahluwalia and Mr. Ramesh... Are we wasting resources in only defining and redefining parameters? Is this a joke? Or are we allowing the multitude of metrics ruin the functioning of a democracy? No wonder the society is not benefiting from many of the programs as they should have...

from:  Nikhil Gurjar
Posted on: Oct 4, 2011 at 09:46 IST

If BPL defined on the basis of cut off of Rs 26 per day (i.e Rs 780 per month) and Rs 32 (Rs 960 per month)for rural and urban society respectively,is correct ,then Planning commission should also think to change the lucrative salary of 6th pay commission for officers.Why a person will get gross salary of Rs 50000 or more if only Rs 960 is sufficient to live a happy life per month? I think the next step of planning commission should be related to ease the gap between rich and poor by lowering the salary of officers and tend it towards Rs 960 per month.

from:  Deepak Kumar
Posted on: Oct 4, 2011 at 09:39 IST

Last week we saw a ' truce' between Mr. Pranab Mukherjee and Mr.P.Chidambaram on the controversial 11 page 2G Note prepared by the Finance Ministry. This week has begun with the ' truce ' between Mr.Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Mr. Jairam Ramesh on the controversial affidavit on poverty line filed by the planning commission in the Supreme Court. Dr. Singh who plays the role of the umpire to these boxing events, is unable to declare who the winner in a particular round is. He consults the all powerful second umpire, who makes the boxers jointly announce that no boxing actually took place and all the boxing existed only in the imagination of the spectators. What a colossal waste of public money, for the tamasha shows of the DCP ( Damage Contol Party) and how long India should put up with this agony? The sooner the UPA government packs up and vacates, the better for the country.

from:  Shekar
Posted on: Oct 4, 2011 at 08:12 IST

Let Mr Montek first live on Rs 32 for a day and then make claims of "factual", "de-linking" and "ceiling". I strongly suspect his first words next morning will be "The Horror, the horror" (Apocalypse Now)

from:  Aritra Gupta
Posted on: Oct 4, 2011 at 05:19 IST

Looking at these "benchmarks" set for poverty, one wonders just what is our so-called "double-digit economic growth", touted so often by the PM as a success of the UPA, worth?

from:  Aritra Gupta
Posted on: Oct 4, 2011 at 04:43 IST
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