Quantcast
Connect with us

India govt. accused of concealing poverty by lowering poverty line to 44 cents per day

Published

on

India’s opposition politicians accused the government on Tuesday of seeking to conceal widespread poverty after it declared that any Indian who spent 44 cents a day was not poor.

Figures released by the Planning Commission on Monday showed a substantial drop in the country’s poverty figures under the Congress-led government, but the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said it was fudging the numbers.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I don’t know which line they are drawing — whether it is the starvation line or the poverty line,” S.S. Ahluwalia, who is deputy leader of the BJP in the upper house of parliament, told reporters.

“It is beyond the imagination of the prime minister and the Planning Commission to know how a person can survive on such a low income,” he said.

The commission’s estimates differ from state to state depending on the cost of living, but average out at a 22-rupee (44 cent) daily spending threshold for villagers and a 28-rupee level in cities.

The deputy chairman of the Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia told reporters Tuesday that the poverty line was meant to reflect conditions of “absolute poverty” in the country.

“This poverty line is not the line that we think a person can comfortably survive… the poverty line has been identified as a rock-bottom, bare subsistence kind of line,” he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

India’s poverty line measurements are significantly lower than those used by international organisations like the World Bank, which assesses poverty according to the percentage of people who live on less than $1.25 a day.

The figures from the Planning Commission, an influential government body that formulates national five-year economic plans, suggested overall poverty levels fell from 37.2 percent in 2004-05 to 29.8 percent in 2009-10.

The statistics mean about 360 million Indians now live in poverty, according to the Planning Commission.

ADVERTISEMENT

The data is used to determine access to welfare benefits for India’s 1.2 billion population. Anyone living below the poverty line is entitled to subsidised food and cooking fuel distributed through state-owned stores.

The Planning Commission’s Ahluwalia said that poverty levels in the country had fallen faster between 2004 and 2009 — marking the first term in office of the Congress coalition government — than in the previous decade.

ADVERTISEMENT

“You can put whatever poverty line you want, the fact is… the decline in poverty is twice the decline in the previous 11 years,” he said.

Although several states saw their poverty ratios plummet by more than 10 percentage points, a number of states in India’s remote northeast experienced a rise in the proportion of poor.

(Ahmedabad – Gujarat, India by Emmanuel Dyan via Flickr)

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Medical expert doubts Trump’s claim every American will have a COVID vaccine by April: ‘I don’t see how that’s possible’

Published

on

Speaking on CNN this Friday, professor of tropical medicine, Dr. Peter Hotez, pushed back on President Trump's claim that every American will have access to a coronavirus vaccine by April.

According to Hotez, there's "just too many unknowns right now" for Trump or any other administration official "to make such a statement.

Even if the vaccines currently in development work, "we don't have the details on the distribution," he added.

"There's going to be a lot of unknown questions," he continued. "We have to really take it in stages."

Watch the video below:

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Shocking emails document Trump administration’s scheme to muzzle the CDC — and misinform Americans

Published

on

Emails obtained by The New York Times detail how Trump administration political appointees sought to silence the Centers for Disease Control during the coronavirus pandemic.

"On June 30, as the coronavirus was cresting toward its summer peak, Dr. Paul Alexander, a new science adviser at the Department of Health and Human Services, composed a scathing two-page critique of an interview given by a revered scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," the newspaper reported. "Dr. Anne Schuchat, a 32-year veteran of the C.D.C. and its principal deputy director, had appealed to Americans to wear masks and warned, 'We have way too much virus across the country.' But Dr. Alexander, a part-time assistant professor of health research methods, appeared sure he understood the coronavirus better."

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

WATCH: Trump now says coronavirus vaccine by April – not Nov. 1 as he’s promised for weeks

Published

on

For months President Donald Trump and his top administration officials have been promising the coronavirus vaccine would be ready by November 1. White House chief of staff mark Meadows this week said "potentially" be the end of September. Trump, too, has pushed up the date, suggesting a vaccine could be ready in early October.

After CDC Director Robert Redfield testified before Congress on Wednesday that a vaccine would not be ready until early spring of 2021, or some time in the summer next year, Trump claimed he had been mistaken.

Continue Reading