Issues concerning poverty definition resolved: Montek, Ramesh

Written by: Pti
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Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia
New Delhi, Oct 3: Amid controversy over the definition of poverty, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh today (Oct 3) claimed that they have resolved the issue.

"Jairam and I had a very good meeting. I think we have resolved a number of important issues... actually all the important issues. I think we are in complete agreement," Ahluwalia told reporters after the meeting.

Ahluwalia and Ramesh will also be addressing a joint press conference later in the day to outline the strategy to counter widespread criticism of Rs 32 per capita per day urban poverty line definition.

"There is broad consensus on the linkage between poverty line and rural development," Ramesh said after the meeting, which among others was attended by Plan panel members Abhijit Sen, Mihir Shah, Syeda Hameed and Narendra Jadhav.

Ahluwalia, who returned from his 10-day-long foreign visit on Saturday, had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue yesterday.

He had discussed with Singh the fallout of the controversy relating to the affidavit in the Supreme Court, which said that persons consuming items worth more than Rs 32 per day in urban areas (Rs 26 in rural areas) are not poor.

As per the affidavit, a family of five spending less than Rs 4,824 per month (at June, 2011, prices) in urban areas will fall in the BPL (Below Poverty Line) category. The expenditure limit for a family in rural areas has been fixed at Rs 3,905.

The number of poor entitled to BPL benefits, as per the affidavit, has been estimated at 40.74 crore, as against 37.2 crore estimated at the time of accepting the Tendulkar Committee report.


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