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Ridiculous… Below Poverty line at Rs. 20 a day !

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Can you tell me what can be bought Rs. 20 in current times when commodity costs are nearly doubling in few years and inflation is consistently in double-digits ? One cannot even buy a litre of milk for Rs. 20, forget about having an entire meal.

But that is the cut-off point that planning commission folks have given for BPL (Below Poverty Line) families. What it means is that any family spending more than Rs. 20 a day (Rs. 578 a month to be precise) on their basic needs cannot be termed as Poor!

According to planning commission, A family cannot be deemed as poor if their average monthly spend is more than Rs. 31 on rent and conveyance, Rs. 18 on education, Rs. 25 on medicines or Rs 36.5 on vegetables.

And this limit is for urban people – In rural areas, this figure is even lower at Rs. 15 a day for all expenses put together!

If you consider World Bank figures as to what should generally constitute a Poverty line cut-off, it is 1.25 US Dollars a day, whereas at Rs. 20 (about 43 cents), India’s cut-off is three times lower!

Ain’t this ridiculous !

And, these figures are the basis to calculate the poor in our country! Even with such ridiculous numbers, 41.8% of the rural and 25.7% or urban population is defined as being poor.

Honestly, I don’t believe that 1 in 4 urbanites and 2 out 5 villagers are living on less than Rs. 20 a day (Surprisingly, this TOI article feels that the number should be more).

But this figure is probably inflated because most of the Indians hide their earnings to get the BPL status, which allows them subsidized food, accommodation, pensions and medical treatment among other things.

What is your take on this ?

  1. Pathi Padmashali says

    what a magic of UPA government.it's ridiculous….

  2. Pathi Padmashali says

    what a magic of UPA government.it's ridiculous….

  3. Pathi Padmashali says

    what a magic of UPA government.it's ridiculous….

  4. Pathi Padmashali says

    what a magic of UPA government.it's ridiculous….

  5. Pallati Pathi says

    what a magic of UPA government.it's ridiculous….

  6. Pathi Padmashali says

    according to this report(recent BPL reoport) india will be the richest country in the world in future of five years.

  7. Pallati Pathi says

    according to this report(recent BPL reoport) india will be the richest country in the world in future of five years.

    1. Pallati Pathi says

      what a magic of UPA government.it's ridiculous….

  8. Ranjan Kumar Behera says

    What is the eligibility of BPL in india, is it income wise.if yes then how much ? my email id ,
    [email protected]

  9. Rohit Handa says

    The is World Bank poverty threshold is on the basis of purchasing power parity not on the market exchange rates which you are considering. exchange rate for India at ppp are one third of current market exchange rates. And the poverty figures are for single person rather than households. Its better if you focus on programming rather than economics.

  10. Sriram Vadlamani says

    Tax evasion doesn’t even come into picture until they are earning 450 rupees per day. That is if someone is working 365 days every year.

  11. vineet says

    I think you missed this point from the TOI article..
    The commission’s figures are based on 2004-05 prices. But even at current price levels, these cutoffs are pretty low – around Rs 35 a day for urban dwellers and Rs 20 for rural Indians – experts said on the basis of back-of-envelope calculations.

    Based on current figures the monthly expenditure comes out to be rs 1000/person..(remember for a family of 4 it comes out to be more than 4000 per month)
    And 1000 per month per person is fair enough for the poverty line.

    I think its very reasonable to have 41 and 25% population to be below poverty level if we consider that many a times only 1 family member works in a family.

  12. balaji yadhav says

    Cant agree with you more
    Being the perennial tax evaders like Indians are I’m sure that most of them are hiding their income.
    But i can give a reason for the Rs 20/day limit on poverty line.These are based on the food prices as per the public distribution system (rations) at the government subsidised rates not the rates at which you buy at the shop. So Rs 20/day per person is reasonable.Like in Tamil Nadu you can get Rice at RS 1/Kg and pulses Rs 5/Kg. So if you are poor you can actually make a living with Rs 20/day using rations.

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