GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Ministry of Planning
UNSTARRED QUESTION No.399
TO BE ANSWERED ON 15.3.2012
Definition of Poverty
399. SHRI RAJEEV CHANDRASEK.HAR:
Will the PRIME MINISTER be pleased to state:
(a) Whether it is a fact that there are separate definitions of poverty in various Ministries and
Departments of Government; and
(b) the action that Government propose to take to have a common definition of poverty within the Government?
MINISTER OF STATE FOR PLANNING, SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY AND EARTH SCIENCES
(DR. ASHWANI KUMAR)
(a) & (b): Planning Commission is the nodal agency in the Government for estimation of poverty at the national and state level and hence, other Ministries and Departments of Government do not estimate poverty. The Planning Commission defines poverty line on the basis of Monthly Per Capita Consumption Expenditure (MPCE) as the criterion. The methodology for estimation of poverty has been reviewed from time to time. The Expert Group headed by Prof. Suresh D. Tendulkar that submitted its report in December 2009 computed the poverty lines at all India level as MPCE of Rs. 447 for rural areas and Rs 579 for urban areas in 2004-05.
The Planning Commission estimates poverty from a large size sample survey on Household Consumption Expenditure carried out by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) after an interval of five years approximately. The latest estimates of poverty have been released based on 6lst round of the NSS for the year 2004-05. After 2004-05, this survey has been conducted in 2009-lO.The Planning Commission is in the process of estimating poverty on the basis of 2009-10 survey data on Household Consumer Expenditure, which are now available. The estimates of poverty will be revised from time to time based on the recommendation of experts.