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Planning panel data on poverty a conspiracy against poor, says BJP
Wednesday July 24, 2013 6:55 PM, IANS

The BJP Wednesday slammed the government over the Planning Commission figures of poverty reduction and said the data was a conspiracy against the poor, designed to deprive them of welfare schemes.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also challenged the Congress, asking it to demonstrate how one might live on an income of Rs.34 per day. (The report takes the poverty line estimate based on the Suresh Tendulkar formula of Rs.34 per head per day.)

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said the government should have waited for the report of the Rangarajan Committee, set up to review the Tendulkar Committee methodology for estimating poverty.

"The data showing a reduction in the number of people below the poverty line is a conspiracy of the Congress against the poor to deprive them of the benefits of BPL (below poverty line) schemes. It shows the Congress mindset against the poor," Javadekar said.

He said the poverty figures do not reflect the impact of inflation and was a "gimmick" to show more people were out of poverty.

"By earning Rs.34 per day, nobody comes out of poverty and the severity of poverty does not go," Javadekar said.

The government, he said, has sought to present a false and rosy picture.

"The Rangarajan Committee is already working. Why did they not wait for (its) report?" he asked.

The Planning Commission Tuesday showed that the percentage of people below poverty line declined sharply to 21.9 in the 2011-12 financial year from 37.2 recorded in 2004-05.

The national poverty line, by using the Tendulkar methodology, has been estimated at Rs.816 per capita per month in villages and Rs.1,000 per capita per month in cities.

This means that persons whose consumption of goods and services exceed Rs.33.33 in cities and Rs.27.20 per capita per day in villages did not fall in the below poverty line category.

Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav also slammed the government data on poverty.

"We tour the entire country and know the real situation. On what basis has the government decided to give subsidised foodgrains to 67 percent of the country's population (if BPL population is 21.9 percent)," he asked.


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