The present poverty estimates are based on the methodology recommended by the Tendulkar panel.
New Delhi: After missing two deadlines, the Niti Aayog’s task force on elimination of poverty has failed to reach any consensus on how to combat and remove the scourge, and instead has recommended setting up of an expert committee to arrive at an informed decision on the level at which the poverty line should be set.
The panel, which was supposed to submit its report to the PMO on December 31, 2015, after having missed the original deadline of August 31, 2015, recently submitted its suggestions, where according to sources privy to the developments, it could not reach a consensus on either the Tendulkar committee report or on a specific poverty line.
The Niti Aayog task force has said in its report submitted to the PMO that a consensus in favour of either the Tendulkar panel or a higher poverty line did not emerge. Therefore, they concluded that the matter should be considered in greater depth by the country’s top experts on poverty before a final decision is made, sources informed.
In the light of this fact, the task force suggested that an expert committee be set up to arrive at an informed decision on the level at which the poverty line should be set, sources added. The present poverty estimates are based on the methodology recommended by the Tendulkar panel.
The Tendulkar committee, set up by the UPA in 2005, had suggested a family earning Rs 33 per day in a city and Rs 27 on a daily basis in rural areas, should be termed as poor. This panel was formed to review the methodology for estimation of poverty. It estimated the extent of poverty using a poverty line defined in terms of monthly per capita consumption expenditure. Based on this formula, the erstwhile Planning Commission arrived at a poverty line and poverty ratio.
Mr Modi, in the first meeting of the Niti Aayog’s governing council, in February last year had identified poverty as the prime reason behind the nation’s hampered growth, and had in March 2015 formed the task force headed by Aayog’s vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya to find ways to eliminate the vexed problem. The reason why Mr Modi’s taskforce took such a long time was owing to the fact that it is learnt to have got stuck with the dilemma of whether to identify the poor or track poverty before thinking of ways to eliminate it.