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Task Force Suggests New Panel for BPL
Sep 19, 2016

A task force headed by NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya to prepare a road-map for elimination of poverty has submitted its report to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and suggested setting up of a committee to identify people below the poverty line (BPL).

  • The task force, which included NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy and secretaries from the Ministries of Rural Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, has also suggested participation from the States in defining the BPL population.
  • The task force has recommended to the PMO that a new committee be set up, which will work on the definition to identify BPL population, and this will include active participation from States.
  • According to the discussion paper on poverty, official measures are based on the Tendulkar poverty line. But the line is not without its share of controversies, with many terming it being too low.
  • This has prompted the previous government to appoint the Rangarajan Committee, which has recommended higher rural and urban poverty lines.

The paper talks of considering four options for tracking the poor:

1. Continue with the Tendulkar poverty line.
2. Switch to the Rangarajan or other higher rural and urban poverty lines.
3. Track progress over time of the bottom 30 per cent of the population.
4. Track progress along specific components of poverty such as nutrition, housing, drinking water, sanitation, electricity and connectivity.

Third and fourth options can complement measurement of poverty using a poverty line, the paper suggested, adding that they could not be a substitute for it.

This task force is an outcome of a decision taken in the first meeting of the governing council of NITI Aayog in February 2015, chaired by Prime Minister, and was constituted the next month. It was initially mandated to finalise its report by June 30, 2015.


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