New Delhi: The taskforce headed by Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya to assess poverty and prepare a roadmap for its elimination is likely to submit its report in six months time after discussions with states.
"The taskforce on poverty elimination has prepared a discussion paper and will invite comments from stakeholders and states next week before firming up its recommendations," a source said.
The report, source said, is likely to be finalised in the next six months after completing the consultation process.
The taskforce will also conduct regional consultations where a group states from one part of the country will participate and deliberate on the issues related to defining and eliminating poverty.
This taskforce was constituted in pursuance of a decision taken in the first meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, of the Governing Council of Niti Aayog, held on February 8, 2015.
The taskforce was initially mandated to finalise its report by June 30, 2015.
According to the discussion paper, the current official measures of poverty are based on the Tendulkar poverty line. But this line has been controversial with many observers criticising it as being too low. The controversies led the previous government to appoint the Rangarajan Committee, which recommended higher rural and urban poverty lines.
It said, "Going forward, we can consider four options for tracking the poor. Firstly, continue with the Tendulkar poverty line. Secondly, switch to the Rangarajan or other higher rural and urban poverty lines, thirdly track progress over time of the bottom 30 per cent of the population and lastly track progress along specific components of poverty such as nutrition, housing, drinking water, sanitation, electricity and connectivity."
It further said, "While options third and fourth can complement the measurement of poverty using a poverty line, they cannot be substitute for it. Tracking reduction in poverty requires a direct measure of poverty. In turn, this requires us to choose between first and second options."
The paper provided that the strategy for combating poverty must rest on two legs. Firstly, sustained rapid growth that is also employment intensive. Secondly, making anti-poverty programmes effective.
Making anti-poverty programmes such as the Public Distribution System (PDS), Midday Meal Scheme, MGNREGA and Housing for All more effective represents the second leg of the strategy to eliminate abject poverty.