New Delhi: Joining the debate on controversial poverty line issue, Rural Development Jairam Ramesh has said the surveys being conducted by the Planning Commission use the best available methodology which is refined all the time.
He suggested that these surveys should provide for automatic exclusion of those not deserving to benefit from social welfare schemes like government servants and tax payers.
"This is only one way of measuring poverty. You have to have a consistent methodology to see how poverty is going up or coming down. It is clear that poverty as measured by the way we have been measuring, it has come down," the Minister told reporters here reacting to queries on poverty debate.
"The controversy automatically starts when you start inclusion. In my view, administratively the simplest selection process is a process that is based on automatic exclusion. In exclusion you can identify," he said.
"I think, it is relatively easier in our country and relatively less controversial to have a selection process that is based on automatic exclusion," Ramesh said.
Ramesh's view assumes significance in the wake of the statement by Minister of State for Planning Ashwani Kumar, who said that "there is need to revisit the methodology for poverty estimation".
Last week, the government had said a fresh group would be set up to devise a new method to assess the number of poor in the country.
First Published: Sunday, March 25, 2012, 13:54