Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, July 7:
The number of poor in Odisha is 1.7 crore, at least 32 lakh more than the figure arrived at by the Tendulkar committee, according to the latest report on poverty submitted to the Union government by the Rangarajan committee.
In percentage terms, this marks a rise of nearly 8% over the 32.59% determined by the Tendulkar committee.
The substantial rise in the percentage of people below the poverty line (BPL) is essentially on account of the revised parameters of poverty used in the latest report. While the Tendulkar committee had categorised those earning less than Rs 27 (less than Rs 810 a month) in rural areas and Rs 33 (Rs 990 a month) in urban areas as poor, the Rangarajan committee has fixed the limits at Rs 32 (Rs 972 a month) and Rs 47 (Rs 1407 a month) respectively.
Based on the revised criteria, the percentage of poor in the total population of the country had jumped from 21.92% to 29.5% in the latest report. In other words, three in every 10 Indians have been termed poor by the Rangarajan committee.
It is worthwhile here to mention that the report of the Tendulkar Committee had sparked off a row in September, 2011 after the Planning Commission, in its affidavit in the Supreme Court, had stated that people having a daily per capita expenditure of Rs 33 in urban areas and Rs 27 in rural areas, are not poor.
However, experts contended that the report of the Tendulkar Committee cannot be taken as the benchmark for BPL considering the price rise in essential commodities.
Amidst the row, the Centre had finally decided to set a new benchmark to determine the poverty rate by constituting the Rangarajan Committee.