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Rangarajan defends his committee’s report on poverty figures

C Rangarajan, Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, under attack from various political parties over his revised poverty figures, has defended his committee’s report.

Speaking to Network18, Rangarajan said that results brought forth by the panel were based on the estimates given by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO).

He insisted that even as there was significant impact on the poverty ratio, it was still very high in the country.
The findings of the Rangarajan panel report on poverty estimates states that three out of 10 people in India are poor. The report has hiked the poverty limit to Rs 47 per day in cities, stating that people spending below that would be considered poor.

The Rangarajan report also states that those spending less than Rs 32 per day in rural areas would be considered poor.

Speaking to Network18, he also noted that the poverty rate had shot up in urban areas much higher as compared to that of rural areas.

The C Rangarajan Committee was formed in 2013 to review the Tendulkar Committee methodology for estimating poverty and clear the ambiguity over the number of poor in the country.

Slamming the Tendulkar Committee, Rangarajan said, “It used one basket for both urban and rural areas.”
He added, “We looked at the question from point of minimum consumption expenditure to be made by a family both food and non-food items. We derived minimum consumption based on calories, protein and fat. As far as non-food consumption expenditure we have outlined a method to fix norms. Taking two together we arrived at poverty line. It is 19 per cent higher in rural areas and 40 per cent higher on urban areas than what Tendulkar Committee report.”
Opposition parties have called the report “cruel joke”. “This is nothing but making a joke of poor people. Whatever figures that have been given and the way it has has been calculated, our party does not support it,” said Mayawati.

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