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Updated: October 12, 2011 02:02 IST

Rs. 32 a day poverty line not all that ridiculous: Montek

PTI
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File photo of Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
The Hindu File photo of Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

Even as a controversy rages over the Rs. 32 per capita per day poverty line, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia has said “it is not all that ridiculous” in Indian conditions.

“The fact is that Rs. 4,824 per month for a family [of five] to define poverty is not comfortable but it is not all that ridiculous in Indian conditions,” Mr. Ahluwalia said in a letter to Attorney-General Goolam Vahanvati.

Mr. Vahanvati has agreed to appear in the Supreme Court on behalf of the Planning Commission in connection with a public interest litigation petition filed by the Right to Food Campaign.

The Commission has drawn flak from several quarters, including civil society, for pegging poverty in urban areas at Rs. 32 per capita per day. The figure in rural areas is Rs. 26 a day.

Referring to the criticism on the poverty line, Mr. Ahluwalia said:

“Social activists have vociferously criticised the latest poverty line of Rs. 3,905 for rural areas and Rs. 4,824 in urban areas as a ‘cruel joke' by converting the figure into per person per day i.e. Rs. 26 and Rs. 32 respectively.

“Many people are persuaded by this because they sometimes think of daily allowance as meant for family budget...it does not need to be emphasised that the poverty line is not a comfort line of acceptable living for the aam aadmi. It is a poverty line which by definition implies considerable stress.”

On States' criticism that the Planning Commission was understating poverty, leaving out deserving individuals, Mr. Ahluwalia said: “The fact...is that the States gave many more below poverty line [BPL] cards than their entitlement and what is worse is, they often did not give the cards to deserving people.”

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Poverty line should be equal to salary of class 4 employee.Only then
will we be able to find the growth opportunities needed for India,Making
poverty line below any level of existence we ensure that we remain
poor.for 60 years we are trying to uplift people from poverty and each
year we give up and reduce the poverty line.This is slap on poor people,
if only they realise that congress is not solution but is root cause of
problem then only they will work towards a solution, vote out congress.

from:  prakashkapila
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 20:31 IST

Being an economics student, i can safely say 1 thing..the planning
commission is not making crap reports!! they are doing everything on a
methodology and we need to see how their data shows the consumption
patterns of the poor..plzz understand that the bpl ppl may have very few
appliances and assets with them..so DONT COMPARE UR LIVING CONDITIONS
WITH THEM..they will walk on foot, have food from ration shops, they
dont buy fruits like you and neither milk..take these out and u will see
that the poverty line is not that bad.

from:  AMT
Posted on: Nov 4, 2011 at 19:04 IST

It is True,that, in India, most the people live in villages and hills earn less than Rs32/. Urben man can mail and debate this amount. Not all poor got Ration card .. Go to any far-off village and see the poor (in the village- rich farmers/big land lord ,live like lords) . We need to change the face of the buget and make to Gandhian Budget focus on Villages only.

from:  VS Balajee
Posted on: Oct 13, 2011 at 14:38 IST

Mr Montak Singh is suitable only for discussing the issues in an airconditioned room. practically he is not worth for india. He should better take up assignment in World Bank. One of the reader has suggested one meal cooked at home is costing rs 10/-. so the poor should eat only one meal and remain hungry. OK we agree with him but what about shleter, cloth and medicine? Are these unfortunate people have to sit on the road side and face the delhi summer and winter. The Attorney General is ready to accept mr Singh's view and going to present himself in supreme court. Let the whole cabinet and MPs be given only rs 4836/- per month by the govt and let them set an example and the whole country will folow, let us scrap the minimum wage laws in each state. if we are going to have such planning commission the day is not far away that people will revolt and the present govt is only responsible. May be they want to do that they why the govt has withdrawn the circulation of 25 coin .

from:  C S Ganesan
Posted on: Oct 13, 2011 at 11:36 IST

I agree that when looking at it as a whole-month income, and "pooling" it for five people makes it seem less ridiculous -- the "monthly" view makes possibilities for cutting costs by cooking at home and purchasing in bulk more apparent. However, this perspective (as opposed to the 32 per day per head) is cruel on children who are put in the substandard living such low income levels offer for no fault of theirs.

from:  Srikant
Posted on: Oct 13, 2011 at 11:00 IST

Mr. Singh, is this a mathematical issue to see whether one person can survive with what you term as BPL or APL? It should have been BDL or below Destitute Line. If government is trying to reduce poverity with calculator, sir you are absolutely right, but one doesnt need a Ph.D at LSE for doing that. The cruel joke was the breakup for individual items like clothes, education, medical etc. Would it have been better had an opinion been sought from a housewife (ofcourse not the cardswiping one). It is possible to live with Rs.3000 a month, but that is just to keep breathing. To make a life which is not hopeless, the line cannot be drawn. As somebody rightly put it, it differs across the states and differs on whether the family of five is all adult or 2 adult and three sick etc.

from:  Ratheesh R
Posted on: Oct 13, 2011 at 05:43 IST

Why dont Indian people provide this as the salary for all these politicians and save a lot of money and give it to the poor. Obviously these guys can live on this so why not ask them to. These shameless so called humans are ruling India.

from:  Nyaya
Posted on: Oct 13, 2011 at 05:00 IST

In Sixties we had 3 houses in Mysore which we had rented out for Rs 10 a month where a family lived comfortably. Now 10 rupees cant get one meal. And yet these Pseudo economists have the cheek to manipulate the rate of inflation by playing with the standards used to set it and suggest that around 30 rupees a day is enough for people to live. Those who can buy media and present their point of view may win the argument but they cant change reality.

from:  Dr Basheer A Khan
Posted on: Oct 13, 2011 at 03:24 IST

People who were consnsidered most instrumental in building the modern Indian Economy is destroying it in the same manner. Manmohan has become senile and this man is following him. Their idea and vision has become completely misplaced. They should practice thier profession in Sudan, Pakistan or Afganisthan. Best place for them.

from:  Aniruddha Dutta
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 22:38 IST

I think Mr Pankaj has rightly commented on the issue.Those people are unfortunately born in India and Montek Singh heads the batch.

from:  mohuya roy
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 19:46 IST

So, anyone could survive on 32 rupees a day, right? If that be so, we have hundreds of millions of rich people in the country. By this definition, no one is "Poor". Thank you Mr. Ahluwalia - your view of poverty should ring in a new era of thinking in the field of economics!

from:  seshadri
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 19:34 IST

No matter what the definition of below poverty line is, the fact that there are people living within such little income does not change. The benefits of economic growth of India have not been reaching to these people yet. Government programs alone are not adequate to remove poverty of such large magnitude. Every citizen who earns beyond comfort level should think of a starving neighbor. Hire a starving neighbor or show a job that pays better than BPL. Sharing not only bridges economic gap but also builds good will among people.

from:  Mouli
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 19:23 IST

Mr.Manmohan Singh ever since he became Finance Minister and Montek Singh Ahluwalia since he became the Chairman of the Planning Commission have been mocking at the poor of this country through their neo-liberal polices and actions.Instead of taking cudgels against them on behalf of the people, the media has been playing along with them. This is not surprising since in our country today even the Communists are playing the neo-liberal tune.

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 16:12 IST

I can understand why Mr. Ahluwalia does not think Rs 32 a day poverty
line ridiculous. Our MPs are used to getting food in the Parliament
Canteen at following rates:

Tea Re. 1; Soup Rs.5.50; Dal – one katori Rs.1.50; Veg thali (dal,
subzi,4 chapatis, rice/pulao, curd and salad) Rs.12.50; Curd rice
Rs.11; Veg pulao Rs.8; Fish curry and rice Rs.13; Rajma rice Rs.7;
Tomato rice Rs.7; Fish fry Rs.17; Chapati Re.1 a piece; One plate rice
Rs.2;Dosa Rs.4; Kheer – one katori Rs.5.50; Fruit cake Rs.9.50; Fruit
salad Rs.7.

The only problem is that poor people do not have this privilege.

from:  Arun
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 16:10 IST

I pity the sarcastic comments presented by some challenging the planning commission to live with a budget of 32 Rs/day. It is an insane argument. The PC is doing its job and is being payed for his work as a economic policy maker. Should everone working with NGOs live in poverty to serve the poor? Should meidcal doctors treating heart conditions first become heart patients theselves so that they can understand the frustration of the patient? As explained by the PC, its a stressor line, based on caloric requirements for people who would otherwise die out of caloric deficiency. Internet availability, kapda, makhan, etc are not what defines this stressor line. There are other schemes for that.

from:  Padmakumar Rao
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 16:09 IST

I totally agree with him. Maybe people find it difficult to digest it,but it is very visible in rural and semi-urban that people do manage to live and provide for the children with such a low income.

from:  Adrian
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 16:06 IST

The limit fixed by planning commission itself is not the real issue but the fact that such a low limit is required to be fixed in spite of more than 60 years passed since independence. The country is not in position to assure more than small amount of food to the people who are not so lucky. It is doubtful whether the amount of food they will be able to get within Rs. 32 will be enough to provide nutritional requirement of human, leave aside other needs like shelter, health-care, education, social life and security against unforeseen events. However the fact remains that planning commission can not provide more than this because the number of people who will need this kind of support is so large that it is not in position to do anything more than that. At least they should be congratulated for the honesty in admitting this fact. The main issue is what happened with slogans like Garibi Hatao by fame Indira, and other countless schemes declared have done. Let the govt do some concrete.

from:  Milind
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 15:36 IST

Civil servants act like politicians and vice versa. that is the problem facing the nation today.

Otherwise, all these wise men, will not remain adamant and refuse to think.

from:  P.G.RAVIKUMAR
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 15:11 IST

Probably the Planning Commission meant it to be the level of absolute
poverty where a family will have to be given cash handouts by the
government. Poverty line should be the amount of income of a family that
can meet its basic needs namely food, clothing and shelter. The
education needs has to be met by the government.

from:  Raman Manian
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 14:56 IST

The idea of a 'per capita cap' for defining poverty is murky.For instance, the WSJ figure of Rs 75 per day per person spells out a monthly income of Rs 11250 for a family of 5.Now 11K a month is not a fortune,but would hardly seem to qualify the family as BPL.In the conondrum of public anger,we tend to forget that the issue at hand is about setting a BPL qualifier,and not about gauging the Planning Commission's empathy for the poor.This is another classic case of the media blowing a picture out of proportion and inflamming public anger.Yes,the cap of Rs 4800-odd for an urban family of 5 is way too low and needs to be upped for sure.Oppose this on the basis of justified economic arguments,educate us with real facts about the sustenance levels of a poor family in the city,challenge the Planning Commission in the process -- that's how responsible media ought to work.Don't just quote incredible 'fantasy facts' and ignite our anger.

from:  Bandita Deka K
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 14:45 IST

I have read the comments till now.In my view only the comments of Mr Pankaj are reasonable. Also Dr S Jeevananda Reddy has been reasonable.The rest are remarks made without any knowledge of poverty. I am 75+ 0f age. I was employed by Govt of India in 1960(before 2nd Pay Commission) at RS 205 (pay Rs150+DA Rs 55) per month. This works out to Rs 1.37 per head per day for a family of five.My fathers family was much larger at 12. This gives a rate of Rs 0.57 per head per day.We managed as my father was also employed for Rs 150 a month. The post is a very senior post as the next higher post class II Gazetted Officer. This rate Rs 1.37 in 1960 is equal to Rs61.65 today with 4500% being the inflation. Therefore the limit of Rs 32 per day fetches the poor man today sbout 52% of the Standard of Living of a senior Govt of India employee in 1960.Also a BA,BEd teacher used to get a starting salary Rs99 in 1960.It is equivalent to >Rs0.66 per head perday in 1960.It amounts to Rs 29.7

from:  K Varadarajan
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 14:40 IST

The core issue is that goverment wants to plan or identify the deserving class of people for walfare programe especially food program. The target should be only to deserving people, otherwise welfare programe will derail.

from:  Meharoof
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 14:36 IST

Is he kidding? If Rs.32 is the poverty line, it implies that our
national goal is to get people to Rs.33. So, currently, if there are
100 people at Rs35 and 200 people at Rs32 - govt policies will push all
300 people to Rs. 33 .... no one is really better off... and, yet,
magically, poverty has been "eradicated". Beware, there are no winners
in the games economists play.

from:  Surge
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 14:21 IST

This seems to suggest that a person making Rs 4,824 per month can not only contemplate marriage with a home maker, but also producing three children with them. Wow.

Do children really not matter in India? Our country, which celebrates filial piety and motherhood so much, seems sometimes to treat children like veal calves. Child malnutrition worse than in Sub-Saharan Africa!

from:  Srikant
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 14:15 IST

What a ridiculous person to say Rs.32 a day is not all that ridiculous.
So how much exactly is it ridiculous?

from:  Yashwanth P
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 14:08 IST

"not all that ridiculous" - so he accepts that it is ridiculous....
He once said that rise in inflation indicates growth of the nation...........Hail Aluwalia! our fate!

from:  Bharath Kamaraj
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 13:56 IST

I think Rs 5000 per month for a family is poor...They can just meet food needs..That's it...I think many people don't know what poverty is...They are just converting to person per day which is wrong....May be that 5000 can be increasd to 7000....But see as many say if we keep Rs100 per person then total all earning below Rs 15000 per month below poverty line....Then even BE gradutate with four per family with income Rs 14000 is below poverty...Is it correct ? Guess...Don't go by media....

from:  Dr.Kishore kumar
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 13:46 IST

I can't understand the logic behind this explanation. One, Planning
Commission made a blunder by giving such laughable estimate in the affidavit and
worse that they are even trying to justify that. Such obscure comments
by Mr. Ahluwalia again reinforce the fact that the estimates were wrong
and now they are in a desperate damage control mode

from:  Ashutosh
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 13:39 IST

If a person is having Rs.32 for each day, what will he buy with this amount where price of vegetables is touching skies? And what about house rent, clothing? Has all the basic requirements of a person been taken into account while stating the poverty line?

from:  sadhna
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 13:35 IST

"it does not need to be emphasised that the poverty line is not a comfort line of acceptable living for the aam aadmi. It is a poverty line which by definition implies considerable stress." - This is called blurring the line between poverty and rich. This further muddied the waters atleast in my head. I thought people below the poverty line were under considerable stress and i think it makes sense. But, what does the above statement try to say? What does it mean?

from:  bharath
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 12:32 IST

This is nothing but a desperate tactic to reduce the percentage of poor people on paper and to reduce the benefits thereafter .We dont need a shining india where only less than 10% people "SHINES".We need an india where the 50% poor indians get atleast 2 meals per day.

from:  Noble T Padiyara
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 12:30 IST

Then why is 6th Pay Commission implemented which recommended doubling of Salaries?
What are the facilities can you get with that 32 or 26 Rs per day?
will you be able to provide Food, Home rental, Medicine and Transport for that amount? If so I will transfer that amount to you. Please provide all those facilites to me. Thanks for your service.

from:  Kanaka Rao
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 11:52 IST

All this ridiculous assumption of Rs. 32/- per day for urban areas as poverty line was arrived considedring a couple have 3 children and all are earning. Many intelligensia supports this argument. This kind of argument eminate from the mind which has no respect to the poor and find satisfaction in branding them child producing machines and living in filth and squalour. Unless they change their mind set they cannot improve living condition of the poor. At least criticism from all quarters made them to have a rethink their priorities and attitudes.

from:  T.V.Padmanabhan
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 10:58 IST

Dear Mr.Montek Singh,

I kinldy request you to come to chennai, and live for Rs. 32. A Tea Cost Rs.5, Three idlis ( Breakfast ) Rs. 10, Lunch Roadside shops Rs. 15, Dinner ( Two Parota) Rs.10. This all simple food comes to Rs.40/- for only me. How to feed my wife and child, let's calculate, that. Rice 1 kg (Rs.1 from RAtion) dal and other materials (Rs.20), Water Rs. 5, Milk one packed (500 ml)Rs.11 (aavin C.P.) that is also not enough as per your theory. Please try to understand our feeling. As per my calculation Rs.150/- is necessary per day for three member family.

from:  shiva
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 10:55 IST

The cat is out of the bag - definition of poverty line irrespective of which state you belong and the fact that the WSJ published the rankings in fact estimates $1.50(rs75/day)for 40%of population in india should be an eye opener to all politicians and what they need is good paying jobs not charity. So encourage private enterprise to create more jobs and better paying not agitations bandhs based on governament largeese.

from:  kausik
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 09:54 IST

Inspite of so much flak, Montek's statement itself is ridiculous and shows his arrogance and apathy towards poor. Technocrats oblivious to the realities of poverty need to be shown doors or sent to 1 year village trip across India.

from:  sanjay
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 09:42 IST

Mr. Montek Singh doesn't know the word "Practicality" in life as he need not survive on Rs 32/- per day. He is simply enjoying the life as a tail wagon of manmohan singh and has no clues about the grass root level common man's suffering unlike Manmohan singh. Really failing to understand "does he really know planning"..Shame on Montek...

from:  vishal
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 09:27 IST

The world is a much better place when people have the courage to accept their mistakes. It is unfortunate that educated people like Montek Singh are finding reasons to "cover-up" their mistakes. Who agrees that Rs.32/day per person is "not all that ridiculous" when the price of petrol is ~Rs 70/litre and inflation is sky-high ? Shame on you Mr. Ahluwalia !

from:  Saamrat
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 09:17 IST

Those who edited the poverty line are living in fools paradise. They wish to keep the poor lobby as it is for ever. They achieved this goal to maintain it for the last 60 years.

from:  Ilamkaatt
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 08:55 IST

The peole at the helm of affairs are playing with the fate of poor people of the country. Politicians want their vote only and the bureaucrats have no worry about them. That is why per day limt has been recommended for 32 and 26. will these people live a day with this mere 32 a day for at least 15 days without taking any amount from any other source?

from:  T R Subramanian
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 08:28 IST

Without appreciating the reasons and context behind filing this affidavit lot of unwanted criticism have been made on this matter. xpenditure required for a comfort or sophisticated food habits is in the sub conscious minds of the people while seeing the figures of Rs. 32 or 26. Hence most of us hesitate or object to even consider these figures as meant for a bare minimum food needs for the subsistence of a poor family. Hope the Apex Court will make a correct appreciation of this issue at the earliest.

from:  Prof. N. Gunachandran
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 08:24 IST

It is easy to wake up those who are really sleeping, difficult to wake up the ones pretending to be sleeping. Is Mr. Ahluwalia ready to resign and live in that "considerable stress" with 32 rupees and lead by example? After all he assumes a senior leadership position in Planning Commission. Shame on him to stick to the wrong side of the argument and still worse justify it without any sense of empathy to the very citizens for whom his commission exists. This is hight of irresponsible behaviour displayed by a senior person in the recent past.

from:  Praveen Yadhav
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 08:23 IST

This guy is out of his mind!!!!

from:  Don
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 08:16 IST

This information also needs to be weighed in the context of - a) India's Millennium Development Goals (MDGS,) India Country Report of the World Bank's prescription that India must reduce the proportion of people below poverty line (BPL) to 18.75% by 2015 ( it was 26.1% in 1999-2000 and 37.5% in 1990, as per data based on primary household survey data obtained from Government Statistical Agencies and World Bank Country Departments ); b) population below Rs. 41.64 per $ at 2005( at international prices) per day, was considered to represent the perentage of population below poverty line as per World Bank Development Research Group; and c) the general elections are due in 2014 or perhaps even earlier.

from:  Shekar
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 08:09 IST

I agree with Montek...the fact is civil society activists today are vocal in criticizing about anything and everything. They only take in the headline without understanding what is the actual reason behind it. i also blame the media for it a little. i remember the day this news came out...most of the news channel printed the headline in a very sarcastic tone and one of the channels actually had a debate on it. The funny thing was that none of the people on the debate had any "economics or finance" background who could have given any logical reason for this.
People should first try to understand the reasons given for a thing. If the reasons are not good enough, then criticize. not before. Dont get sucked in by the popular media...

from:  pankaj
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 08:06 IST

This statement indeed is ridiculous in milder tones, from a person of the profile of finance seceratary, being in the post of a planning commission chairperson. Any layman would expect the planning commission, should fix the ceiling of poverty line, so as to cover the really needy people to be helped out by the government. The limit, should act as a guide not just to filter out the figure which planning commission wants to claim for its Below Poverty Line budgeting, but also, need to be realistic and not just a statistic tool used for budgeting of five year plans.

from:  Krishnan
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 08:01 IST

Why don't all indian politicians and policiy makers take rs. 64 per day sans their perks for a whole year and then preach us that poverty line of rs. 32 per day per person is not ridiculous???

from:  Vishesh
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 07:36 IST

Living is not just about roti, makaan and kapda. It's about access to education, health and entertainment. Rs 32 a day will not even allow to get the three aforesaid essentials. Add to it rising inflation and fuel prices and the inter state variability in prices. We cannot have a uniform poverty line for every state. It's simply not possible. One alternative would be to empower local bodies to prepare their own census on poverty, and allow them to work and bring down the levels. Local bodies are constitutional, Planning Commission is an unconstitutional body. The common man will never accept these figures. The Centre has used the policy of declare, wait, defend and then rationalize.

from:  Dr Neelkant
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 07:34 IST

But,it is shameful that Mr,montek shamelessly brags about it even after it was proved wrong.

from:  K.Sugavanam
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 07:03 IST

The basic issue is not the definition of BPL but the basic issue is control of food grains sale in the market; inclusion of locally produced - local diet habits -- healthy food grains in PDS (that reduces transport costs); delete rice & wheat, which unhealthy diet grown under chemical fertilizers under high government subsidies in PDS. Inclusion of other food grains that form the full diet -- at present it includes items that cover 30% of food diet. Then the definition of BPL by planning commission will serve the purpose. At present crorepathies are getting all benefits from BPL. The rice purchaged under PDS for Rs. 2 is sold in open market at Rs. 14-15 -- millers refine it sell to FCI.

from:  Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 05:48 IST

Mr. Montek Ahluwalia is all the more ridiculous when he says that Rs.4824/-per month per family is not little. Montekji, you may be the Planning Commission Deputy Chairman, but are you aware of the costs of various items and services prevailing in urban areas? Please do a research based on facts obtaining in those areas instead of leaving such exercises to chair bound beauraucrats, who get free quaters, free fuel, free telephone,free health cover and such other benefits which loosely come under one word these days-"scam"

from:  A.Ranganathan
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 05:27 IST

Mr Ahluwalia Pl. commission Dy. Chairman should set an example for others by utilising the amount of Rs 32/= perday for his daily life.

from:  T.S.Prakasam
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 05:01 IST

For austere living the amounts indicated by the Dy. Chairman Planning commission is sufficient. A simple meal cooked at home consisting of rice or roti and a vegetable curry should cost only less than Rs. 10 per person in a family of five. But expectations are more for many and hence difficult to compromise with this fact.

from:  Dr. C.K. George
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 04:02 IST

Then ask him to live in that wage for six months with his family members. Also include rent.

from:  Sivakumar
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 03:10 IST

This defensive statement reeks of desperate face-saving. The poverty line exists to help the govt to measure the alleviation of poverty and also to serve as an indicator/benchmark in allocating social aid. If the defining standards are so low, the entire exercise turns out to be absurd from both aspects. Either Mr Montek and Co are stalling the effective eradication of poverty, I don't know, maybe as an election issue insurance or they are utter fools.

from:  Aritra Gupta
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 02:57 IST
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