A panel headed by former PMEAC Chairman C. Rangarajan has dismissed the Tendulkar Committee report on estimating poverty and said that the number of poor in India was much higher in 2011-12 at 29.5 per cent of the population, which means that three out of 10 persons are poor.
As per the report submitted by Mr. Rangarajan to Planning Minister Rao Inderjit Singh earlier, persons spending below Rs. 47 a day in cities would be considered poor, much above the Rs. 33-per-day mark suggested by the Suresh Tendulkar Committee.
As per the Rangarajan panel estimates, poverty stood at 38.2 per cent in 2009-10 and slid to 29.5 per cent in 2011-12.
This is at variance with the Tendulkar methodology under which poverty was estimated at 29.8 per cent in 2009-10 and declined to 21.9 per cent in 2011-12.
The Planning Commission’s estimates based on Tendulkar Committee had drawn flak in September 2011, when in an affidavit to the Supreme Court it was stated that households with per capita consumption of more than Rs. 33 in urban areas and Rs. 27 in rural areas would not be treated as poor.
The Rangarajan Committee was set up last year to review the Tendulkar Committee methodology for estimating poverty and clear the ambiguity over the number of poor in the country.
As per Rangarajan panel estimates, a person spending less than Rs. 1,407 a month (Rs. 47/day) would be considered poor in cities, as against the Tendulkar Committee’s suggestion of Rs. 1,000 a month (Rs. 33/day).
In villages, those spending less than Rs. 972 a month (Rs. 32/day) would be considered poor. This is much higher than Rs. 816 a month (Rs. 27/day) recommended by the Tendulkar Committee.
In absolute terms, the number of poor in India stood at 36.3 crore in 2011-12, down from 45.4 crore in 2009-10, according to the panel.
The Tendulkar Committee, however, had suggested that the number of poor was 35.4 crore in 2009-10 and 26.9 crore in 2011-12.