New Delhi: If the remarks of the UPA II leaders and the Planning Commission’s latest statistics are scrutinized, it seems that poverty in India will ‘officially’ end in a decade.

According to the latest report of the Planning Commission, the number of people living below the poverty line has shrunk to 21.9 percent in 2011-12 from 37.2 percent in 2004-05 on account of increase in per capita consumption.

As per the methodology followed by the Plan panel, people with daily earning of Rs 27.20 per capita in rural areas and Rs 33.33 per capita in urban areas are not poor.

On Thursday, after Congress leader Raj Babbar's remark that a hearty meal in Mumbai can be bought for Rs 12 triggered a nation-wide controversy, another party leader Raseed Massod claimed that just Rs 5 was sufficient for it in the national capital.

According to the Planning Commission, in 2011-12 for rural areas, the national poverty line by using the Tendulkar methodology is estimated at Rs 816 per capita per month in villages and Rs 1,000 per capita per month in cities. This would mean that the persons whose consumption of goods and services exceed Rs 33.33 in cities and Rs 27.20 per capita per day in villages are not poor.
   
Earlier, the Planning Commission had triggered a major controversy by saying that anyone spending more than Rs 32 per day in urban areas was not poor. This parameter for fixing poverty line was criticized across the political spectrum given the present day’s realities.
    
Planning Commission on Tuesday released the poverty ratio on the basis of Tendulkar methodology saying that the number of poor in the country has significantly gone down during the past 7 years.
    
The Commission said that for a family of five, the all India poverty line in terms of consumption expenditure, would amount to Rs 4,080 per month in rural areas and Rs 5,000 per month in urban areas. The poverty line, however, will vary from state to state.

(JPN/Agencies)

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