New Delhi, Mar 20 (ANI): Holding the Planning Commission responsible for poverty in India, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan on Tuesday termed the revised poverty line to be incorrect.
"This is an incorrect poverty line. The Planning Commission is mainly responsible for poverty in India and because of such figures; the numbers of poor are increasing in the country. Can 29 or 23 rupees be used as a parameter to measure poverty?" asked Paswan.
"The members of the Planning Commission should be given the same amount and asked to survive, then they will realise how many people are poor. It is not possible to get drinking water in such a meager amount," he added.
Paswan further demanded the formation of an all-party committee to find out the actual number of people, who fall Below Poverty Line (BPL).
Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress (TMC) General Secretary of Sultan Ahmed said Planning Commission Deputy Chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia should visit villages and see how the people survive.
"How can these figures be realistic? Earlier also Montek Singh Ahluwalia made remarks on it. I would ask him to visit the villages and see under what conditions people are living there, then only he would realise. Then only they would realise whether, the correct estimate is 22 rupees or 50 rupees. This is an incorrect estimate of the poverty line," said Ahmed.
"It should be revised and the Government of Bengal has repeatedly said that the list of BPL (Below Poverty Line) is not correct and called for its amendment. The revised poverty line is incorrect and said that there was need to increase it," he added.
Congress leader, Rajeev Shukla, however, defended the Centre's stance on the issue, and said the government is ready to debate the issue in Parliament.
"Government has taken a view after so many deliberations and certain things. Now, if members are agitated, what I have said on the floor of the house that when the discussion would take place on General Budget, members can again raise it and government would explain. Even if they are not satisfied, I can request Planning Minister to explain or elaborate it on the floor of the house," he said.
The Planning Commission released the latest poverty estimates on Monday, saying that poverty in the country has declined by 7.3 percent from 37.2 per cent in 2004-05 to 29.8 percent in 2009-10.
According to the report, the total number of poor in the country has been estimated at 34.47 crore in 2009-10, as against 40.72 crore in 2004-05. (ANI)
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