Millennium Post

NCP, Oppn on same page against Planning panel’s poverty report

Planning Commission’s claim that the number of poor people had declined to 21.9 per cent in the country, came under severe criticism from political parties, including United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA)  constituent  Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which said that the criteria for identifying the poor should be updated. ‘The Planning Commission’s ceiling of gauging poverty was completely wrong... We don’t agree with these figures,’ said  NCP leader and union heavy industries minister Praful Patel.

The principal opposition party stated that the planning commission’s data is  a conspiracy to deprive the poor of the benefits of government schemes and challenged Congress leaders to show how a person could survive on Rs 34 per day. ‘We challenge the Congress leaders to show how one can survive on Rs 34 per day... They want to show more people are rich by changing the definition,’ said  BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar.

The BJP leader also said that the poverty figures do not reflect the price rise and is just a political gimmick to show more people are now out of poverty by lowering the benchmark. BJP also sought to know that when the Rangrajan Committee, under the watch of the Supreme Court, is looking into the issue of poverty why did the government hasten to present these new figures.

‘BJP denounces the anti-poor strategy of the Congress,with an earning of Rs 34 per day nobody comes out of poverty and the severity of poverty does not go,’ said Javadekar. The BJP leader alleged that the government has hurriedly presented a false, rosy picture despite knowing well the findings of Arjun Sengupta Committee which had said 70 per cent of the people in the country live below the poverty line.

Planning Commission had on Tuesday said that the number of people living below the poverty line has shrunk in both urban and rural areas. The number of people living below the poverty line has shrunk to 21.9 per cent in 2011-12 from 37.2 per cent in 2004-05 on account of increase in per capita consumption, it had said.ering the current situation.

BJD said the country still has a large population of poor people.
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