Hyderabad: Expressing displeasure over the news that the Planning Commission has submitted a proposal to the Supreme Court to consider an individual having Rs 578 income per month as Above Poverty Line, the Communist Party of India (CPI) on Thursday urged the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan singh, who is also Chairman of the Commission, to intervene and set right the things.
The CPI national deputy general secretary, Mr Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy, in a letter addressed to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, expressed shock over the news reports that the Planning Commission had submitted to the Supreme Court that Rs 578 per month will be enough for an individual in urban areas and Rs 15 in a day for rural poor to be declared as Above Poverty Line. These figures were arrived at by 2004-05 prices. Even at the present price levels, it is expected to be Rs 35 a day for urban poor and Rs 20 for rural poor to satisfy the basic needs. This was the cruel joke on the nation, he felt.
The CPI leader pointed out that based on the consumption levels, the Commission has declared that only 41.8 per cent of rural population was poor and 25.4 per cent of urban Indians need social benefits from the government. Alleging that theses figures were not correct and far from the truth, he strongly criticized the Commission for giving wrong figures to the Supreme Court.
reminding that the nation was awaiting Food Security Bill for one year, he apprehended that these type of calculations were meant to subvert the benefits of Food Security Bill. By declaring the people who earn Rs 35 and Rs 20 were above poverty line, the Planning Commission was trying to snatch away all the other type of benefits like housing, education and medical facilities meant for poor, he charged. This type of gimmicks may reduce poverty on records, but the poverty in the country would continue to haunt the government. He also requested the Prime Minister to intervene and set right the things.
Mr Reddy asked Dr Manmohan Singh in the position of Chairman of the Planning Commission to withdraw the submission from the Supreme Court and prepare a reasonable draft which should not be less than Rs 100 a day as cut-off mark for both rural and urban poor to be above poverty line and which should be updated every three months when the Central Government employees and officers DA was updated. (NSS)