Plan panel to set up expert group on poverty in April
New Delhi: Under pressure to review its controversial poverty line of Rs 28.65 daily consumption, the Planning Commission is likely to complete by next month the formation of a technical group to revisit the methodology used to arrive at the figure.
"We have initiated the process of constituting a technical group to revisit the poverty estimates based on Tendulkar formula, which would be completed in a month, " Minister of State for Planning Ashwani Kumar told media.
Last week, Kumar had said that the government has taken the decision to form an expert group to revisit the methodology for estimating poverty in a manner that is consistent with current reality.
He had added that the government had taken this decision in December last year.
According to the methodology recommended by the Tendulkar Committee for estimation of poverty, besides calorie intake, the spend on health and education is also factored in.
As per the Commission's estimates, the 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 cities and Rs 22.42 in rural areas.
According to the Commission's latest finding, the total number of poor in the country has been estimated at 34.47 crore in 2009-10, as against 40.72 crore in 2004-05.
Last week, the Commission's Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia was the target of attack, inside and outside Parliament, after the panel put out the poverty numbers.
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav even asked for his removal.