The poverty line as computed by the Tendulkar Committee estimates is not to be used for defining segments that will be provided assistance under the government's poverty alleviation programmes, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.
In a written reply to Lok Sabha, the minister of state for planning Ashwani Kumar said, "These poverty lines are not to be used for assisting the poor under different poverty alleviation programmes."
He said a joint statement by the Plan panel Deputy Chairman and Union Minister of rural development in early October had stated the present state-wise poverty estimates based on Planning Commission's methodology will be used to impose any ceiling on the number of households to be included under different government programmes and schemes.
The minister was replying to a question on whether any person earning more than Rs 32 per day in urban areas and Rs 26 per day in rural areas is eligible or not to draw benefits of such schemes. The Planning Commission recently an affidavit in the Supreme Court in this regard.
"The affidavit filed by Planning Commission on September 20 was in compliance of specific direction by the Supreme Court to update the poverty line computed by the Tendulkar Committee for 2004-05 to the latest price level," Kumar said.
In reply to another question in Lok Sabha, he said the on-going Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) 2011 would be taken into account for arriving at specific entitlements under the schemes.
By the time the SECC 2011 is completed, the Ministry of Rural Development and the Planning Commission will consult the states, other experts and civil society organisations in this regard.
They will arrive at a consensus on the methodology to determine the eligibility and entitlements under various programmes and schemes, he said.
The government and the Planning Commission had come under a lot of flak for suggesting Rs 32 and Rs 26 per day as the poverty line.
He added that on applying price increase using the Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers for urban areas and Consumer Price Index for Agriculture Labourers for rural areas, the poverty line at June 2011 price level was placed provisionally at Rs 965 per capita per month in urban areas and Rs 781 per capita per month for rural areas.
But the provisional figure was on the basis of consumption expenditure and not per person earning.