The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday strongly objected to and termed as "unfortunate" the government's new concept of people living on less than Rs 28 per day in urban areas and Rs 22.50 in rural areas being below the poverty line.
The opposition vociferously raised the issue in the Rajya Sabha and asked the government come up with an an appropriate method to calculate the poverty line in India.
"If you don't have a formula, come out with a formula to calculate poverty line," BJP leader SS Ahluwalia asked the government.
"The world hunger report says 89% of Indians live under poverty line, calculated according to international standards," he said, adding the government concept was flawed.
Raising the issue in Rajya Sabha, Ahluwalia said: "This is the end of poverty line and beginning of starvation line... Can the prime minister and finance minister manage in Rs 32 per day."
The Planning Commission Monday released data showing that poverty had significantly declined between 2004-05 and 2009-10.
It said poor were the ones who spend less than Rs 28 per day in urban areas and Rs 22.50 in rural areas. The new poverty line is lower than the earlier Rs 32-per-day mark that had triggered an outrage when the government submitted it to the Supreme Court last year.
Members of the Bahujan Samaj Party, AIADMK and the Left also joined the BJP in protesting against the new defined poverty line.