'Panel to look into linking of poverty with social schemes'
New Delhi: Under attack for poverty numbers, the Planning Commission on Friday said a technical group will look into various aspects of the problem, including the need to link social sector benefits with the poverty line.
"Since we are setting up a technical group, we will look at the Tendulkar (poverty) line ...technical group...will tell us, how will we link food subsidy...how do we determine beneficiaries then we look whether poverty line is need to be revisited," Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia told reporters here.
Yesterday, deviating from its earlier stand of delinking benefits under flagship schemes like Food Security Bill from the poverty line, the Commission had indicated that benefits under some social sector programmes would be provided on the basis of its poverty estimates.
"...some of the entitlements (under the government schemes) will need to flow from the poverty estimates unless we have made conscious exception like in the case of Food Security Bill", Minister of State for Planning Ashwani Kumar had said on Thursday.
On what system would be followed to determine the number of poor for entitlement under social sector schemes, Ahluwalia said: "The present system is fairly well known. Food subsidy benefits are explicitly delinked (from poverty line)...even other benifits...Many of our schemes are not linked to poverty line..for example MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act)."
As per the Commission's estimates, poverty ratio has been pegged at 29.8 percent in 2009-10, down from 37.2 percent in 2004-05. These are based on the daily per capita consumption of Rs 28.65 in urban cities and Rs 22.42 in rural areas.