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Oct 04, 2011 at 09:21pm IST

Poverty line remains at Rs 32, says Montek

New Delhi: Ending confusion over the Below Poverty Line cap, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Tuesday made it clear that the definition of poverty line remains at Rs 32 per person per day.

Speaking to CNN-IBN, Montek said that they will not withdraw the affidavit and have accepted the Tendulkar committee report.

As per the affidavit, a family of five spending less than Rs 4,824 (at June, 2011, prices) in urban areas will fall in the BPL (Below Poverty Line) category. The expenditure limit for a family in rural areas has been fixed at Rs 3,905.

The number of poor entitled to BPL benefits, as per the affidavit, has been estimated at 40.74 crore.

Montek also said, "Income should be considered along with caste. The anti-growth movement worries me."

This came a day after reports said that the Rs 32 BPL cap has been removed.

"We are clearly, categorically, and unequivocally saying that there is no link between the state wise poverty estimates and the selection of beneficiaries. A new expert committee will be set up so that no poor and deprived household is excluded," Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh had said on Monday while addressing a press conference jointly with Ahluwalia.

Ramesh then went on to say that the Rs 32 cap will be removed.

"No caps will be externally imposed. The Planning Commission and the Rural Development Ministry will work out a new method so that no poor household is excluded," said Ramesh.

The view of the Planning Commission that a person can meet expenditure of 'food, health and education' with a sum of Rs 32 in the cities and Rs 26 in the villages had sparked widespread disbelief and condemnation forcing the Congress party to go into damage control.

Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, too, was reportedly unhappy with these figures.

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