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Rs 28 slab won't restrict entitlement: Montek

Planning Commission chief Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Tuesday defended the data releases by the panel on poverty by saying that the numbers Rs 28 poverty line will not restrict people's entitlement.

business Updated: Mar 20, 2012 20:08 IST
Planning Commission

Planning-Commission-deputy-chairman-Montek-Singh-Ahluwalia-addresses-a-press-conference-in-New-Delhi-AFP-Photo-Prakash-Singh

Planning Commission chief Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Tuesday defended the data releases by the panel on poverty by saying that the numbers Rs 28 poverty line will not restrict people's entitlement.

"Focus of poverty line is not about entitlements, it is to determine if inclusive growth is working," Montek said.

Government has clearly stated that entitlement of food subsidies is not constrained only to people below poverty line, he said.

"We are using the old poverty line because the consumer survey is from an earlier year."

The poverty estimates by the Planning Commission show that 29.8% or 360 million Indians were poor in 2009-10 as compared to 37.2% or 400 million in 2004-05.

The plan panel defines the poor as one who spends less than Rs 28 per day in urban areas and Rs 22.5 in rural areas.

These figures are lower than the Rs 32 in urban areas and Rs 26 in rural areas for the year 2010-11, given to the Supreme Court by the panel.

The annual fall in poverty during the period under survey was 1.4 percentage points as compared to 0.8 percentage points between 1993 and 2004.

The data shows that non-UPA-ruled states, except Maharashtra, have done better than UPA-ruled states.

Uttar Pradesh and five northeastern states were the only ones where the number of poor increased.

Ahluwalia had attributed the decline to the UPA government's "successful" inclusive growth strategy.

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