Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: After Congress` Raj Babbar and Rasheed Masood, Union Minister of New & Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah, of the National Conference, has justified the Planning Commission`s definition of poverty.
Asked to comment on the raging debate on poverty, Farooq Abdullah said that one can have a full meal for Re 1, if desired.
However, in an age where even a bus ticket costs a minimum Rs 5 in Delhi, food for Re 1 or 5 or 12 appears to be no less than a joke.
Yesterday, Congress leader Rasheed Masood had said that Rs 5 is sufficient for having a hearty meal in Delhi.
"You can eat a meal in Delhi for Rs 5, I don`t know about Mumbai. You can get a meal for Rs 5 near Jama Masjid (in Delhi)," Rasheed Masood said.
Masood’s Rs 5 assertion came when asked about Congress spokesperson Raj Babbar’s claim that it was possible to have "full meal at Rs 12 in Mumbai" even today. "No no not vada paav. So much of rice, daal saambhar and with that some vegetables are also mixed," Babbar had said.
The comments are being viewed as part of the Congress and government`s efforts to defend a report by the Planning Commission which said poverty has declined by 22 percent since the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government came to power in 2004.
The Congress has claimed that poverty had come down in the country due to the pro-poor policies of the UPA government.
Latching on to crass remarks, the main opposition BJP termed them as "laughable".
BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said Planning Commission figures on poverty reduction were a conspiracy against the poor, designed to deprive them of welfare schemes.
He asked the Congress to demonstrate how one can live on an income of Rs 34 a day.
The Planning Commission on Tuesday showed that the percentage of people below poverty line declined sharply to 21.9 in the 2011-12 financial year from 37.2 recorded in 2004-05.
The national poverty line, by using the Tendulkar methodology, has been estimated at Rs 816 per capita per month in villages and Rs 1,000 per capita per month in cities.
This means that people whose daily consumption of goods and services exceed worth Rs 33.33 in cities and Rs 27.20 in villages do not fall under the poverty category.