Niti Aayog, government’s premier think-tank, will soon set up an expert committee to arrive at a new poverty line, according to an official. “We have said that we needed an expert committee to look at poverty line as most states are not much in sync with each other… We have not formed an expert committee yet but soon we will set up an expert committee to look at poverty line,” said a senior government official.
Pursuant to the decision taken at the first meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 8, 2015, a Task Force on Elimination of Poverty in India was constituted by NITI Aayog on March 16, 2015 under the chairmanship of Arvind Panagariya, vice chairman, NITI Aayog.
The report of the Task Force was submitted to the Prime Minister on July 11, 2016. It recommended setting up of an expert committee to arrive at an informed decision on the level at which the poverty line should be set because ‘a consensus in favour of either the Tendulkar or a higher poverty line’ did not emerge.
The current poverty estimates are based on the methodology recommended by the Expert Group under the chairmanship of Suresh D Tendulkar in 2009. According the Tendulkar committee methodology, those whose daily consumption of goods and services exceeds Rs 33.33 in cities and Rs 27.20 in villages are not poor.
As per these numbers, only 22 per cent of the people can be classified as poor in the country.