Monday, June 27, 2011


Well.  Do you know how much you have to spend on food and other basic amenities to be classified as poor? In other words, if you are very poor, what amount you have to earn per day by which you can ensure your daily food at least? Give a small thinking
Rs 30?
Rs 40?
Rs 50?
Rs 60?
Rs 70?
Rs 80?
Rs 90?

And if you said that you can live just Rs20/ in an Urban area, well done. A big hand shake to you. You have all the probability to become a adviser for the Indian government, an authority the Planning commission can always rely on. Yes. Our Indian   Planning commission has discovered that a person in an urban area can live by earning just Rs578.80 /month or Rs19.30/day. Now tell me what you will do with the Rs20/you have in your pocket? Can you eat thrice or at least two times a day? If you get confused by this question the Planning commission has a answer. Just follow the budget given in the below table and try to live. And, if you cannot just hang yourself from the ceiling ( these days pesticides cost too much and this is the cheapest means)
Commodity Groups
Consumption at Poverty line Class  (Rs) for a person/month 
Edible oil 
Egg, Fish and Meat
Fresh fruits
Dry fruits
Salt & Spices
Other food 
Medical: Institutional
Medical: Non-institutional 
Personal items
Other goods 
Other services 
Durable goods
Sum of above item groups 
Rent and Conveyance
Urban PLB
This works out to Rs28000/family of four members for an year
If you manage to limit your expenditure according to the above budget well done. And if you cannot earn above Rs578.8/month feel proud that you are the poorest of poor and you are fir to avail all the governmental schemes meant for poor. If you earn more I am sorry. Even a road side beggar earns more than this Isn't it?.

How the Planning commission arrive at this figure. The planning commission earlier estimates was subjected to Criticism from many fronts. So to avoid criticism and to arrive at the Poverty line accuratly the planning commission appointed a expert committee under Professor Suresh Tendulkar. This expert committee reviewed the earlier methodologies and estimates and arrived at a new methodology for poverty estimation. As a layman I could not understand the methodology followed. If are brilliant and educated you can refer this link Expert report on Estimation of Poverty

If you have referred the link, probably you can give me a feedback about the ingenuity of our  Planning commissions expert committee. 
 This estimation of poverty was made due to the representation made by PUCL in the supreme court in 2002. These estimates were based on 2004-2005 prices, says the planning commission report. The question is why the report was not given, taking into consideration the present price situation. Moreover how come classification of poor made using this criteria will hold good for the present condition. NO real poverty estimation can be made.
I agree that Poverty is a very complex phenomena which is influenced by various factors A death of a income earning member or a major health ailment that has costed the family dearer, may bring even a middle class family to a poorer state. Though 100 % realistic estimate cannot be made, common sense play a major role in designing the tool for estimating the poverty. It seems to me that the experts are " Over Brained" ( and hope it doesn't ooze out of their head, when they are constantly thinking)  
This Poverty line estimate came too severe criticism from many circles and the supreme court has condemned the Planning commission for this unrealistic estimation.
Dozens of activists protested against the planning commission's office last week carrying a cardboard box which contained - the cheapest bus ticket, 500 grams of cheapest rice, one potato, one onion, one banana, one matchbox and a pencil which overshot the daily budget by Rs2/

This is a comment by a freedom fighter on the issue

"My father earned Rs6, when he first came to Bangalore in the 1900s. Even then our family in the village supplied us with pulses, wheat, rice and vegetables and this how we managed to make ends meet. One can only Imagine what is the condition today. I think the committee members arrived at these figures based on the prices of my fathers time. How else could they come up with this number? Who in the right mind would say you can survive and entire month on Rs578. In a city like Bangalore, a single person living in the most frugal ways will need at least Rs3000 to survive in a city like this. This is nothing but a ploy to hoodwink the public. The govt. wants to show that poverty has declined. But that does not happen by lowering the bar". H.SDoreswamy, Freedom fighter

The World Bank estimate of global poverty line is Rs56/day or Rs1700/month which is three times higher than the India's estimate.

The Planning commission has given a ridiculous explanation  : that it has to set the poverty line which determines who  gets the government assistance to make the best use of limited funds." If you have such a large number of people, with limited resources available with the government, do you target the poorest of the poor or do you spread the net wider and succeed covering nobody" is the statement by Pranab Sen- adviser to Planning Commission to NDTV.

A daily allowance of Rs 19 would buy 31/2 bananas from a stall outside the commission's own office in Delhi. 

I think our planning commission members did not go for shopping recently or they get everything free from the government, so that there is no need for them to shop? A tea costs Rs 7/ in Madurai. An idli cost Rs5 to 6/. With two idlis and a tea, can anyone live for lifelong with just a tea and two idlis per day. Perhaps the government wants everyone to fast against corruption    

1 comment:

  1. Tamilnadu is said to be one about the richest states of India. Fair calculations are done by the committee across the nation. There are some states in India still needs miles to reach a main road. Few NH are there where we cannot proceed after few kms on metal road. Further mud road to extend to another few Kms. Thats it... There after for miles only pedestrian lanes. Try this once if you move from Delhi to Agra... You will be on toll way or NH. But the moment you step down from it ... you have to hunt for such road to travel in a vehicle.

    I happen to have a bath once like that under a tributary rivers of Ganges. While I was watching a Cowman (Adult cowboy !) who had a towel cap (turban or Thalapa) over his head. Soon after seeing few palm leaves or dry weeds around, he took three stones and made the STOVE. His turban had a small aluminium plate and Aata poweder (hope with salt). However North Indian roti generally does not even have salt !! With drops of water from river he made dough in minutes. With matches he lighted the thrashes and kept plate over it. Upon tapping the dough balls on both hands he made it flat. In next 5-6 minutes 3 rotis were ready. He was having a pickle like material in powder form. He rolled rotis over it and finished his breakfast.

    In my calculation, A kg of aata would be 20rs. So A family can survive with it.

    There are few islands in Andamans where people live with fish and coconuts for generations. we are talking about balanced diet !
    Though the BPL statistics are bare minimum to think about... there are some pockets of the nation even who survive with that statistics. Moreover in many places such lines are calculated with previous data. Seldom present day scenario is considered.

    Some hidden benefits are also kept in mind while calculation so. May be United nations take it as a base in giving generously to nation. Or there will be another statistics which would say that BPL line cannot raise all of a sudden in a graphical representation.

    Even in IMD, some technical persons are not aware about global warming and write the previous year Temperature cursing the present day DIGITAL/ANALOG thermometer !

    Have not aware about...

    dammed lies ...
    ??????? .