New Delhi: Planning Commission on Monday further reduced the poverty line to Rs 28.65 per capita daily consumption in cities and Rs 22.42 in rural areas, scaling down India's poverty ratio to 29.8 per cent in 2009-10, the estimates which are likely to raise the hackles of civil society.
An individual above a monthly consumption of Rs 859.6 in urban and Rs 672.8 in rural areas is not considered poor, as per the controversial formula.
Furthermore, the Plan panel has kept the poverty threshold even lower than it submitted to the Supreme Court last year, which created an outcry among the civil society.
The Plan panel had said in its affidavit before the apex court that the "poverty line at June 2011 price level can be placed provisionally at Rs 965 (32 per day) per capita per month in urban areas and Rs 781 (26 per day) in rural areas".
The civil society had questioned this definition stating it was very low.
As per estimates released today, the number of poor in India has declined to 34.47 crore in 2009-10 from 40.72 crore in 2004-05 estimated on the basis of controversial Tendulkar Committee methodology.
The methodology recommended by the Committee includes spending on health and education, besides the calorie intake.
Among religious groups, Sikhs have lowest poverty ratio in rural areas at 11.9 per cent, whereas in urban areas, Christians have the lowest proportion of poor at 12.9 per cent. Poverty ratio is the highest for Muslims, at 33.9 per cent, in urban areas.
Further, poverty in rural areas declined at a faster pace than in urban cities between 2004-05 and 2009-10.