Hyderabad: Terming the comments on the below poverty line (BPL) issue as "unprincipled publicity campaign", Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Saturday said the rate of poverty decline doubled during the rule of the UPA Government as compared to the pre-UPA regime.
"In the pre-UPA period the decline in poverty was taking place at 0.74 per cent per year. After 2004 it is taking place at 1.5 per cent. So, the decline in poverty during UPA period is double," he added.
As per the data released by the Planning Commission, the rate of poverty reduction between 2004-05 to 2009-10 was 1.5 per cent every year whereas it stood at an annual rate of 0.74 per cent between 1993-94 to 2004-05.
Montek Singh Ahluwalia said poverty has gone down from 37.2 per cent of the population in 2004 to slightly less than 30 in 2009-10.
"All this criticism that the government is artificially reducing the people below the poverty line is just rubbish. Poverty has gone down from 37.2 per cent of the population in 2004 to slightly less than 30 in 2009-10," Ahluwalia said.
He refuted remarks that the Government could be trying to keep major chunk of public from some benefits by showing reduction in poverty line.
"This is not true. Many benefits are not linked to poverty line. The most important benefit is Right to Education Act which is not linked to poverty line".
"The next most important is NREGA scheme. This is not limited to poverty line below. Third is food security bill.
That is not limited to poverty line. As much as 46 per cent of the country s people will benefit from this," he explained.
According to him, Planning Commission does not use daily income figures as basis for calculating BPL people. It takes per-family-per-month figures to calculate the figures.