Poverty figures unacceptable, says AIDWA

Updated - July 20, 2016 12:25 am IST

Published - March 21, 2012 01:10 am IST - NEW DELHI:

The Planning Commission's claim in its March 19 report that poverty has declined in the country by 7.3 per cent is totally unacceptable, the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) has said.

In a statement here on Tuesday, the AIDWA condemned the repeated efforts by the Planning Commission to obfuscate data so as to justify the exclusion of a large number of the poor and deny them the benefits of anti-poverty and welfare schemes. Women from the underprivileged and marginalised sections of society were being particularly affected because their poverty was being deliberately made invisible, as a result of which they were unable to access many schemes meant for them, it said.

“It is shocking that despite widespread protests from all quarters about the absolutely unrealistic poverty lines being used for poverty estimation, the Planning Commission has once again used such faulty data to argue that poverty has declined. It is also not clear how the poverty lines, which, according to the affidavit filed by the government in the Supreme Court in September 2011 were around Rs. 26 per person per day [rural] and Rs. 32 per person per day [urban] have now suddenly been brought down to Rs. 22 and Rs. 28 [estimated from the monthly per capita poverty line mentioned in the recent note]. While some explanation has been put forth, it appears to be nothing but sheer statistical jugglery to show a significant decrease in poverty,” the statement said.

“We reiterate that all these lines are actually “destitution” lines and do not reflect the reality of people's daily lives,” the AIDWA said while demanding the ‘fraudulent' figures released by the Commission be retracted, and called on the Centre to ensure that the rights of the impoverished sections were safeguarded, rather than undermined by it.

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