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How realistic is Plan Panel's Rs 32 BPL cap?


Sonal Joshi,CNN-IBN
Oct 05, 2011 at 12:49pm IST

New Delhi: The Planning Commission's definition for poor has raised a storm across the country. According to Planning Commission, Rs 32 is the limit after adjusting inflation.

But let's check how realistic this limit is.

Rickshaw puller Jitender Paswan earns Rs 100 a day. Out of this, he spends Rs 49 on food. If we break it up, it works out to Rs 20 on rice, Rs 15 on dal, Rs 8 on cooking fuel, Rs 6 on edible oil and he pays Rs 17 as rent.

If he has to survive on Rs 32, then he will just have to live on the streets and survive on raw rice and dal.

"Everyday, I spend Rs 50 on food only," said Jitender Paswan.

Ram Chander irons clothes for living and earns about Rs 200 everyday. He has a family of five to support so expenses are more.

"How can we lead life in Rs 30? One child's breakfast costs Rs 10, chapatti costs Rs 10-15. So for two meals a day, Rs 50 per head is spent," said Ram Chander.

Chander's family of five spends Rs 100 on three meals a day, Rs 50 on commuting, school fee of Rs 2 - Rs 54, Rs 17 on house rent. Total expense is Rs 231 a day, far from the Government's limit.

For the Planning Commission, Rs 32 may be an amount enough for daily expenses, but for daily wage earners like Ram Chander, this amount does not even give them proper food.

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