I had written on Indian achievement on reducing poverty on July 24, 2013
In a huge, huge achievement, in a trademark Montek Singh Ahluwalia style, packaged and presented in the Manmohan Singh style, yesterday, all of a sudden, we the Indians were told by the economy wizard of the nation that his government had lifted almost 15 per cent of the Indians above the poverty line since 2004-05.
So, the school of Montekonomics, the Planning Commission of India has announced: “The percentage of persons below the Poverty Line in 2011-12 has been estimated as 25.7% in rural areas, 13.7% in urban areas and 21.9% for the country as a whole. The respective ratios for the rural and urban areas were 41.8% and 25.7% and 37.2% for the country as a whole in 2004-05. It was 50.1% in rural areas, 31.8% in urban areas and 45.3% for the country as a whole in 1993-94. In 2011-12, India had 270 million persons below the Tendulkar Poverty Line as compared to 407 million in 2004-05, that is a reduction of 137 million persons over the seven year period.”
And it is one year to July 24, 2013 – Manmohan Singh and Montek Singh Ahluwalia are not there to steer the Indian policy to decide on the poverty politics and poverty economics.
But the Rangarajan Committee appointed by the Manmohan Singh government has come out with Poverty Lines that undermine the glory of the moments Manmohan Singh had tried to project on patting his back for making India less poor and more Indians ‘poverty free’ – by assigning them a day of life on Rs. 33 in cities and Rs. 27 in villages – the exercise behind this relative realization of poverty was highly contagious – if it got Manmohan’s goodies, it also attracted public outrage and a huge political controversy like it had been the case a year earlier, in 2012.
And Manmohan Singh was forced to constitute the Rangarajan Committee to come up with a logical and widely acceptable poverty scale.
So, even if Manmohan Singh was busy taking credit, he, in a way, accepted that the Poverty Lines in practiced were not logical – anyway, almost of the Indian politicians have been like that only – keeping political mileage above the social concerns.
But, even Rangarajan Committee’s Poverty Lines, though taking away some of Manmohan’s scarce ‘shining’ moments, disappoint – and like Manmohan Singh’s government failed the Indians in the 2nd term, like the good economics of Suresh Tendulkar failed to address the concerns of the poor Indians – the Rangarajan Poverty Lines, too, fails the poor Indians – its good economics, too, mocks the bad social conditions of the millions of Indians.
The good economics of Mr. C. Rangarajan has found an Indian’s day worth Rs. 47 in urban areas of the country and Rs. 32 in rural India – one cannot even have modest lunch and dinner for a day in that – and what about other daily expenses – the expenses that are the inevitable part of our lives.
BEING POOR IN INDIA: IT IS STATISTICAL AS WELL
BEING POOR IN INDIA: THE NUMBERS
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/