If there is one feeling which gripped me today morning, it was a sense of guilt. A deep sense of remorse.
Reason - A new headline in today's Times Of India. It screamed out on the first page - Rs. 32/day enough to cross 'poverty line'.
The Planning Commission of India supposedly thinks that earning Rs. 33 per day makes a person above the poverty line. For people outside India, this is just 0.66 USD, or 0.5 EUR, or 0.44 GBP at today's exchange rate.
What a sham!!
To think of it, you would have eminent economists sit on the commission, to tell this non-sense to the people of India. A guy on the street can make a much better assessment on what is needed to be above the Poverty Line.
These silly guys have the guts to give the assessment pictured above.
If you spend 2 Rupees 30 paise on milk, a day, and drink 85 ml of milk, this would make you above the poverty line. Is this quantity of milk even sufficient for a 6 month old child, for his mental and physical development??
Is 20 grams of pulses sufficient for one person for one day for maintaining his or her basic health??
Just have a thought for an Indian family with a husband and the wife, and a kid. If one person in the family is working, and earns Rs. 33 per day, what does each member of the family get? One third of the portions above. :(:(
Yes, India is not a rich country. It's an emerging economy. It has many poor people. But what our guys achieving with this assessment??
Even someone who is really poor is classified as above 'Poverty Line'. This would in turn have an effect on the benefits he or she would get. This in turn would effect the quality of life he or she can lead.
It's very disgusting to have this criteria to deciding whether a person is above or below the Poverty Line.
I can say just thing. Whatever you do, whatever criteria you set, do one important thing - If you have a problem, accept the problem. If you don't accept the problem, there is no way you can resolve the problem.
Our guys here are failing to acknowledge that India has many poor people. But by doing so, they are walking 10 steps back from eradicating poverty. Hope better sense prevails and such assessments are corrected appropriately.
If not, it would reflect very poorly on Manmohan Singh, an eminent economist by himself.
Manmohan Sir, if you don't understand basic economics, please don't call yourself an economist.
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