Skip to main content

Rs 32-a-day poverty line had Plan panel in controversy in 2011

The Planning Commission was at the centre of a big controversy in 2011 after it adopted Rs 32-a-day poverty line, inviting sharp criticism from many quarters, even as the government grappled with slowdown and high inflation throughout the year.

NGOs, commentators and the common man all alike criticised the Plan panel's description of the poor.

Irked by the Plan panel's definition of poverty, N C Saxena, a member of the National Advisory Council (NAC) had told PTI that "only cats and dogs can survive on Rs 32 a day".

Based on the recommendations of the Tendulkar Committee, the Planning Commission had set the poverty line at Rs 965 per capita per month in urban areas and Rs 781 per capita per month in rural areas.

The issue came to light after the Commission in its affidavit in the the Supreme Court, said, "At June 2011 price level, for a family of five, this provisional poverty line would amount to Rs 4,824 per month in urban areas and Rs 3,905 in rural area".

The Tendulkar Committee had expanded the definition of poverty to include expenditure on health and education besides calorie intake. The Planning Commission has already adopted the methodology to compute poverty.

The Plan panel itself did not provide per capita per day poverty line benchmark for urban and rural areas. But NGOs and other groups criticised the Commission for fixing such a poverty line.

It led to heated debates and there were several rounds of discussions between Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for chalking out the strategy.

The row also saw Ahluwalia's friend and Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh intervening in the issue.

Later, Ahluwalia and Ramesh conducted a joint press conference and announced the delinking the benefits provided to the below poverty line (BPL) under various social sector schemes from the said poverty line.

"To summarise, there is no reason to fear that the Tendulkar committee poverty estimates result in exclusion of families otherwise deserving special assistance," Ahluwalia had said.

The Plan panel made it clear in its statement that the Tendulkar poverty line will remain a relevant reference point on efforts to take more and more people above poverty line, eligibility for subsidised food. It said other benefits indeed will be widened to a much larger population, delinking it from the poverty line.

After facing flak from all corners, the panel assured that a new methodology will be worked out to determine entitlements of beneficiaries under various schemes for poor.

It was also said that the BPL would get benefits under various schemes on the basis of Socio-Economic and Caste-Economic Census expected to be completed in January 2012.

The year also saw the Commission finalising the Approach Paper to the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17), and got it approved from the Union Cabinet as well as the country's apex planning body National Development Council, headed by the Prime Minister.

The document has pegged the annual economic growth rate at 9 per cent during the five-year period, up from 8.2 per cent estimated in the current Plan (2007-12).

However, during the NDC meeting, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wondered whether India will be able grow by 9 per cent in the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) period amid the current economic slowdown.

"The Approach Paper proposes a growth target of 9 per cent per year. It is relevant to ask whether this is feasible since the economy is currently slowing down," Singh said at the meeting.

He had said: "The current slowdown is a matter of concern... We must guard against the mood of negativism that seems to have gripped the country."

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"Facebook Tests a New Feature To Let Users Enjoy Events Togather"

Facebook is testing a new feature to let users share events that they are interesting in attending to, on their "Stories" so that they can coordinate with friends and enjoy events together.

According to a TechCrunch report, the test will involve a new option to "Share to Your Story" that appears when you visit an event's page on Facebook.

"If shared, friends will see a tappable sticker within your Story that includes the event details and lets friends respond that they're also 'interested' right from the Story itself," the report added.

Friends also can tap on the sticker in the Story to visit the event page.

"There's also a link to the event page built in and a way to start a group chat on Messenger with friends who responded," said The Verge.

The test is currently rolling out to users in the US, Mexico and Brazil.

To use the new test feature, go to the Events page, click "Share" below the date and time of the eve…

Largest Spike in Hate Crimes Since 9/11, Says a Report

The number of hate crimes reported in the United States jumped by 17% last year, the largest increase since 2001 when the terrorist hijackings on 9/11 fueled a surge in attacks on Americans of Muslim and Arab ancestry.

A total of 7,175 hate crime incidents were reported to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program in 2017, up from 6,121 in 2016, said the UCR Program's annual Hate Crime Statistics report, Xinhua reported.

It's the third year in a row the FBI has reported an increase in hate crimes. The number of hate crimes in 2016 rose about five percent from 2015.

The 2017 incidents encompass 8,437 total offences, meaning some involved multiple criminal charges.

According to the report, the most common bias categories in single-bias incidents were race/ethnicity/ancestry (59.6 percent), religion (20.6 percent), and sexual orientation (15.8 percent).

The victims represented a cross section of society, with African-Americans and Jews the most frequently targeted victims. Of 34…

2.2 bn Facebook Users Must Log Out, Re-login Across Devices, Says Experts

After Facebook admitted that hackers broke into nearly 50 million users' accounts by stealing their "access tokens" or digital keys, cyber experts on Saturday warned over 2.3 billion users to log out and log back into Facebook, or any of third-party apps that use Facebook login.

Facebook has reset the access tokens of almost 50 million accounts it knew were affected. It has also taken the precautionary step of resetting access tokens for another 40 million accounts that have been subject to "View As" look-up in the last year.

"For now, logging out and back in is all that is necessary. The truly concerned should use this as a reminder and an opportunity to review all of their security and privacy settings on Facebook and all other social media platforms," Chester Wisniewski, Principal Research Scientist with global cyber security major Sophos, told.

According to Dr Gary McGraw, Vice President of Security Technology, Synopsys (Software Integrity Group)…