New Delhi: The Planning Commission is in the process of revising norms for estimating poverty line in the country, Parliament was informed on Thursday.
In a written reply to Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Planning Ashwani Kumar said the revision would be on the basis of methodology suggested by the committee headed by Suresh Tendulkar and would factor in the findings of the National Sample Survey's data on Household Consumer Expenditure for 2009-10.
He was replying to a question on whether the Supreme Court had recently observed that the criterion fixed for determining poverty is inadequate and if the Planning Commission had fixed the poverty line at Rs 20 per capita per day for urban areas and Rs 10 for rural areas.
"The Supreme Court has directed that Planning Commission may revise norms of per capita amount by taking into account the price index of May 2011 or any subsequent date.
"In the light of recent directions of the Supreme Court, the Planning Commission is in the process of estimating the revised per capita poverty line as per the Tendulkar Methodology on the basis of 2009-10 survey data on Household Consumer Expenditure, which are not available," Kumar said.
As per the Tendulkar Committee report, submitted in 2009, the poverty line at the national level is fixed at Rs 446.68 per capita per month in rural areas and Rs 578.80 per capita per month in urban areas at 2004-05 price level.
The Planning Commission had recently come under criticism from various quarters for reportedly adhering to the criterion of fixing poverty line at Rs 20 and Rs 10 per capita per day in urban and rural areas, respectively.
The Supreme Court, while giving an order in May, had observed that it is impossible for an individual to consume the minimum requirement of 2,400 calories in rural areas and 2,100 calories in urban areas with such an income level.
Kumar said that the Plan panel has defined the poverty line on the basis of Monthly Per Capita Expenditure (MPCE) as the criterion.
"The Hon'ble Supreme Court in their order dated July 22, 2011... observed that the Planning Commission may file an additional affidavit, if any, in response to the report submitted by Central Vigilance Committee on Public Distribution System headed by Justice D P Wadhwa," he said.
First Published: Thursday, August 18, 2011, 19:47