Taking a dig at the Planning Commission’s formula for calculating poverty figures, Delhi BJP chief Vijay Goel today sent money orders of Rs 33 each to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Deputy Chairman of the Plan panel Montek Singh Ahluwalia challenging them to spend a day on the amount.
He said this was BJP’s way of protesting against Planning Commission’s criteria that anybody whose consumption of goods and services in exceed Rs 33 in cities per day was not poor.
Sticking to its earlier controversial way of calculating poverty figures, Planning Commission yesterday had said the number of people living below the poverty line has shrunk in both urban and rural areas.
“We strongly condemn the twisted figures used by the Planning Commission of India to claim shrinking of poverty in the country. The criterion taken as a poverty line benchmark in the urban centres is laughable,” said Goel.
He said he has sent a money order of Rs 33 to Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit also.
“I am challenging them to try and spend a single day on Rs 33 if that is what is the benchmark for poverty line. It is yet another cruel joke by this insensitive government. I do not think that anyone in right frame of mind can agree to government’s calculation that Rs 33 per day is enough for an individual to live in a city like Delhi,” he said.
As per Planning Commission, the number of people living below the poverty line has shrunk to 21.9 per cent in 2011-12 from 37.2 per cent in 2004-05 on account of increase in per capita consumption.