Monday, October 3, 2011

Montek Says Rs 32 Controversy Has Been Sorted Out

New Delhi:  Has the controversy over the government's definition of poverty been resolved?  The Planning Commission's deputy chairman, Montek Singh Ahluwalia,  said this morning that he has reached "complete agreement" on the matter with Jairam Ramesh, the minister for Rural Development.  

Mr Ahluwalia's comments came after a lengthy meeting with Mr Ramesh.

Last month, the Planning Commission filed an affidavit in court that stated that anyone who spends more than Rs 32 a day in urban areas cannot be defined as poor, and would therefore be ineligible for state benefits. This would affect who qualifies for subsidized food grains, for example.

Social activists - including those like Aruna Roy who serve on the National Advisory Council that is headed by Congress President Sonia Gandhi - were horrified by this definition of poverty and wrote an open letter to Mr Ahluawalia last week, asking him to survive on Rs 32 a day.

Opposition parties also embraced the controversy to challenge the government on its frequently-stressed commitment to the aam admi or common man.

The Planning Commission's affidavit was given to the Supreme Court. Mr Ahluwalia met the Prime Minister over the weekend amid reports that the figures stated in the affidavit could be revised.


Errr.. How the hell does this mean it’s been RESOLVED / SORTED OUT??

Could be REVISED? I am sure that affidavit itself would have cost more than INR 32 to prepare / print / submit. That affidavit doesn’t need to be revised, it should be thrown out – along with the morons who prepared it.

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