Poverty and opulence have remained poles apart in this country and more than often the latter has ridiculed the former. In one such recent glaring example, the pittance outlined in the Planning Commission affidavit underlining its new definition of poor speaks volume about the insensate approach of planners of the government towards the masses. Leaving even the top brains in an obfuscated condition, the affidavit submitted by the Planning Commission before the Supreme Court mentions that anyone spending more than Rs 32 per day in urban area and Rs 26 in rural areas will not be considered poor. Did the people who drafted the affidavit not feel ashamed while preparing it? How could they think of avoiding a sharp criticism after preparing such a draft? The claim that the affidavit has been prepared on the assessment by Tendulkar committee holds no meaning. Was the committee totally alien to the prevailing conditions in the country or had it descended from heaven? Does the Planning Commission not feel the need to tax its task on such senseless assessment by various committees? In addition to the definition of poor in the affidavit, the Planning Commission has also come up with a shocking move to explain the ways to people who can manage the expenses for milk, cheese, vegetable, edible oil, medicines, pulses etc.  As the Planning Commission is of the view that such people should not be provided foodgrains at subsidised rates, therefore it can be concluded that the real motive is to reduce the quantity of foodgrains being distributed at lower rates. If this intention of the Planning Commission is taken into consideration, any hope on the Food Security Bill to bring about a change in the situation for common man does not have relevance.

It should be noted that the Planning Commission has suggested that if a family of four is spending Rs 4,500 per month it should not be put under the category of poor. Whereas, on the ground reality, a family earning Rs 8,000- Rs 10,000 per month, barely manages to afford the household expenses. In the present circumstances, it is impractical to think that a person spending Rs 4,500 per month is not poor. It is well understood by now that the policy makers are least bothered about the grievances of common man, but it was expected from them to adopt such inhumane and intolerant approach. The concerned authority should apologise for such irrational affidavit. In wake of the soaring prices and the subsequent problems having been confronted by masses, it has become extremely important for the government to avoid superfluous statistics to define the poverty line. If the Centre is hardly having concern about the common man, it will have to come up with a significant increase in the minimum wage rates in single stroke. The Government should come face to face with the stark reality that people earning in the range of Rs 5,000 - Rs 6,000 per month are facing several economic hardships for leading a simple life. Undoubtedly, an increase in minimum wage rates will pose few problems, however the issues can be dealt with the pace of time.