Plan Panel Waging a War With the Poverty Figures?
Blog :Economics and Politics
Date: 3/24/2012 6:44:00 AM
Planning Commission of India under the Vice-chairmanship of Montek Singh Ahluwalia stuck to its stand that poverty had declined by 7.3 per cent between 2004-05 and 2009-10, a period when the Congress-led U.P.A has been in power. He further asserted on Tuesday, March 20, 2012: " You can put whatever poverty line you want, the fact is ... the decline in poverty is twice the decline in the previous 11 years". He argues that the poverty line he is referring to is meant to reflect conditions of 'absolute poverty' in the country. In other words he identifies it as a rock-bottom bare subsistence kind of line which we can safely call it destitution. Planning for the poor in the country is not to keep the humans on survival kits but to ensure a reasonable standard of life to the citizens of this democratic country. So his definition of poverty has no utility both from planning angle and implementation purpose.
On the political front his posture has become a subject of ridicule and powerful joke of the day both inside and outside the Parliament.
The Planning Commission tries to take shelter for the current predicament from the difference of data of 66th round of National Sample Survey (2009-2010) on household consumer expendtiture and the national accounts data provided by the Central Statistical Organisation. The Commission could have resolved the issue by using the expertise at its command. There seems to be no bottom-to-top approach in its work schedule till now.