The focus of policymakers should be on accelerating the pace of poverty reduction and making it sustainable.
An objective analysis of India’s poverty estimates over the past few years has been shrouded by the din around the poverty line. In response to the criticism surrounding the Tendulkar poverty line, the Planning Commission set up an expert group headed by C. Rangarajan to review the methodology for measurement of poverty. The Rangarajan committee has pegged the new poverty line to monthly per capita consumption expenditure of 972 in rural areas and 1,407 in urban areas. This translates to daily per capita consumption expenditure of 32.4 in rural areas and 46.9 in urban areas. The panel estimates that 30.9% of the rural population and 26.4% of the urban population were poor as per the new poverty line in 2011-12. This is an upward revision from the earlier estimates based on Tendulkar poverty line that 25.7% of rural population and 13.7% of the urban population were poor in 2011-12.
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