Rajeev Chandrasekhar's official website - Member of Parliament

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Ministry of Planning

RAJYASABHA
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?

ANSWER
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.