Kolkata: The Planning Commission whose description of the poor has invited the wrath of many on Thursday said its data is being misinterpreted.
"People are misinterpreting our data. We are trying to show that people are benefitting from the growth of the country and poor are becoming less poor, but did not intend to say that people earning Rs 32 a day are not poor as it is a relative subject," Planning Commission member Arun Maira said here on Thursday.
"We are not trying to project that there is no poor or very less poor," he said.
"The Planning Commission’s job, as the whole system is asking for, to bring development to reduce poverty. And, that is what the Planning Commission is doing," he said.
"Obviously, the definition who is poor is a political process and I believe it should not come from the Planning Commission. Determining who gets what is a socio-political matter," Maira said.
"It is not numbers and allocation of money, but vision and strategy for the country that the Commission offers."
On the debate whether Planning Commission should be there at all, Maira said, "We got to find a strategy which is not Dependant on a political configuration."
"We need someone like the Planning Commission to give direction ... and even if the government changes the vision remains," he said.
As per the Commission's estimates the poverty ratio has been pegged at 29.8 per cent in 2009-10, down from 37.2 per cent in 2004-05. These were based on the daily per capita consumption of Rs 28.65 in urban cities and Rs 22.42 in rural areas.
Asked about media reports quoting an initial CAG report on losses in coal block allocation, Maira said: "I am not commenting specific to any scam but yes there is trust defict," Maira said.