The Planning Commission has extended the tenure of the Rangarajan Committee till June 30, which was formed to estimate poverty in the country. The extension of Rangarajan panel’s stint has inference that new ruling establishment at the Centre would stamp its approval on the process of assessment of poverty.

 In India, the poverty line demarcates which family falls under the category of poor. The family which is tagged with BPL (below the poverty line) is deemed to be beneficiary of various government welfare schemes like the health insurance and the Indira Awas Yojana.

The Congress-led UPA, after coming to power in 2004, formed a committee under the stewardship of economist Suresh D Tendulkar on December 2, 2005, in order to coin methodology for poverty measurement. The Tendulkar committee submitted its report on November 29, 2009. Based on the report, the Planning Commission set up the poverty line in January, 2011.

The Tendulkar panel had to face lots of flak from different political parties and government organizations for setting criteria for the poverty estimate.

The government then formed a five-member committee on May 24, 2011 which was headed by PM’s economic adviser C Rangarajan. The purpose of forming a new committee was to reset the definition of poverty in the country.

The newly formed committee had to submit its report by June 5, 2014 but the tenure of the committee has now been extended till June end.


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