Friday, 30 September 2011

The claim that sparked a row

The Planning Commission's affidavit in the Supreme Court claiming that Rs 32 in urban areas, and Rs 25 in rural areas is adequate to meet expenditure towards 'food, health and education' has sparked widespread condemnation, disbelief, outrage. There is a division within the planning commission itself with two members making their displeasure evident. At the end of the two-day politburo meet, Prakash Karat has said said that the poverty line is a starvation line and that any caps on social security should be scrapped.
Jairam Ramesh, minister of rural development says India's very approach of estimating poverty needs a re-look, adding that he does not agree with caps either.
On the 3rd of October, deputy chairman of the planning commission will meet all concerned members, Jairam Ramesh, Aswini Kumar in an attempt to forge a way forward. Meanwhile, Colin Gonsalves, the lawyer who is arguing the 'right to food' case in the Supreme Court is planning to argue that minimum wages or at least 100 rupees to be made the poverty line. Ambika Soni, minister of information and broadcasting says that she's been given to understand that the planning commission's affidavit is not the final one. Will the planning commission submit a new affidavit? Here is the open letter that the Right to Food Campaign has written to the Deputy chairman of the planning commission.

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