Reconsider norms for assessing poverty: Maya to PM

Lucknow: Expressing concern over the Centre's proposed norms for assessment of poverty line, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Monday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to reconsider the same and increase the limit.

"It is almost impossible for a poor person to meet the ends for a meagre amount of Rs 32 per day in urban area and Rs 26 per day in rural area," Mayawati said in a letter written to the Prime Minister.

"This limit should be raised," she demanded.

The Chief Minister said fixing poverty line was always a challenging and difficult process, but its aim should not be of painting an artificial picture.

To separate poor from prosperous, several changes have been made in domestic commodities and services related to poverty line by the Tendulkar Committee, she said.

"It seems that norm of 2,100 calories per person per day in urban area and 2,499 calories per day per person in rural areas has been reduced considerably, though new assessment like health, education and footwear have been included," Mayawati said.

By hiding expenses on edible items a large section of poor in the country would be affected which would be unjust and unfair, she said.

The CM said the proposed norm would directly affect the poor and weaker sections and they would be deprived from various programmes of the state which aim towards poverty alleviation and improving their socio-economic condition.