Planning Commission to SC: Rs 26 a person a day the 'adequate' poverty line

This has been arrived at by applying the price level in June 2011

 
By Richard Mahapatra
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

In an affidavit to the Supreme Court on September 20, the Planning Commission has provisionally put the poverty line at Rs 965 per capita per month (Rs 32 per day) for urban areas and Rs 781 per capita per month (Rs 26 per capita per day) in rural areas. This has been arrived at by applying the price level in June 2011.

Planning Commission puts the poverty line at Rs 965 per capita per month (Rs 32 per day) for urban areas
Poverty line is at Rs 781 per capita per month (Rs 26 per capita per day) in rural areas
Says the recommended poverty lines ensure the adequacy of actual private expenditure per capita near the poverty lines on food, education and health and the actual calories consumed are close to the revised calorie intake norm for urban and higher than the norm in rural areas.
 

This implies that if you can spend the above amount covering expenditures on food, education and health you are above the poverty line.

This is a part of the ongoing court case on fixing the number of below poverty line households in the country (popularly known as the right to food case, on since 2001). On May 14 this year, the apex court came down strongly on the low poverty line and asked the Planning Commission to revise norms of per capita expenditure amount considering the price level in May or afterwards.

Earlier, a high level committee of the Planning Commission suggested Rs 20/capita/day for urban areas and Rs 15/capita/day for rural areas as the poverty lines (fixed at 2004-05 price level).

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The court found the amount 'impossible' for consuming the suggested amount of calories at present. So, it gave directions to revise it.

In the affidavit, the Planning Commission sticks to this poverty line, but has adjusted it to the price level in June. Assuring the apex court, the Commission said in its affidavit: “The recommended poverty lines ensure the adequacy of actual private expenditure per capita near the poverty lines on food, education and health and the actual calories consumed are close to the revised calorie intake norm for urban and higher than the norm in rural areas.”

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