Vijay Goel

Sh. Goel sends moneyorders to Sonia, PM, CM and Montek challenging them to spend a single day in Rs 33

The Delhi Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) today strongly condemned the twisted figures used by the Planning Commission of India to claim shrinking of poverty in the country and said that Rs.33 per capita per day criterion taken as a poverty line benchmark in the urban centres is laughable.

To mark their protest against the utter lies of the Planning Commission, Sh. Vijay Goel despatched Rs.33 money orders to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. He challenged that they should try and spend a single day on Rs 33 if that is what is the benchmark for poverty line.
Hundreds of BJP worklers followed Sh. Vijay Goel and sent money orders to the above mentioned as a mark of protest.

Dismissing the Planning Commission’s claim, Delhi BJP State President Shri Vijay Goel said that government has adopted not only flawed but unrealistic formula to calculate the daily survival needs of an individual. “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. Even if we do not go into the flawed yardsticks adopted by the this government’s foreign educated economists, a common man living in this city could have told them that this is not just enough,” said Shri Goel.

The fresh poverty estimates by Planning Commission are based on controversial Tendulkar methodology that has been under scanner for fixing poverty lines that were too low at Rs.22.42 per person in rural areas and Rs.28.65 in urban areas. The Tendulkar poverty line is wholly insufficient and glaring when one looks at the breakdown of the Rs 33 packet, which includes, for instance, just about one rupee per day for health expenditure.

Following that, the government set up another committee under the chairman of the Prime Minister’s economic advisory council, C. Rangarajan to look at a methodology for determining poverty lines and estimating poverty. Interestingly without waiting for the Rangarajan's report, the Plan panel went ahead with new poverty estimates giving rise to the motives behind the hurried declaration.

Shri Goel informed that the figures has manipulated by the Planning Commission by not including the figures of the National Sample Survey in  2009-10, as it was a drought year. “ Why did the government leave out this particular year when many lower middle income groups must have been pushed below poverty line due to severe drought conditions  which UPA government failed to handle?,” asked Shri Goel.

He further informed that about the calculation made by the BJP regarding the minimum requirements of a family of 5 living in a city like Delhi. Against the Planning Commission calculation of around Rs.1000 per capita per month, BJP believes that Rs. Rs.8697.75 is the minimum that is needed for a family to survive in the city with constant hike in rents, power, fuel & food items etc.

Shri Goel added that living becomes all the more difficult in this city for the poor since the Public Distribution System (PDS) of the Congress government is in tatters and hardly anyone is getting the allotted ration at subsidized rates. “The fact is that conditions of poor in the city are going from bad to worse since no relief is coming to them through PDS. Government has not only failed to provide food items to more than 15.85 lakh APL card holders in the city but also about 11.53 lakh Stamped APL card holders. Even BPL card holders are not getting regular supply,” said Shri Goel.

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