Southern states, at the first regional consultation meeting with the NITI Aayog, have agreed with the premier policy think-tank that the poverty line needs to be used for tracking progress of schemes on the ground and should be de-hyphenated from benefits.
The agreement reflected views of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Lakshadweep in their meeting with the NITI Aayog’s Task Force on Elimination of Poverty in India held in Hyderabad today, a press statement said.
“On the issue of use of the poverty line, participating states agreed with NITI Aayog to employ it for tracking progress in poverty reduction and not to link it with poverty alleviation programmes that require identification of the poor,” it said.
The states highlighted some of the best practices that have been successful in mitigating poverty. For one, the mid-day meal scheme in Tamil Nadu under Akshaya Patra received much attention.
There was unanimity on raising nutrition awareness — both among children at the school level through text books and adults through an information campaign.
The participating states expressed concern about availability of drinking water in their respective areas and wanted the NITI Aayog to take remedial measures.
At the first meeting of the governing council held on February 8, 2015, it was decided to constitute a task force on elimination of poverty in India under the chairmanship of NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Dr Arvind Panagariya. It was also decided that each state will constitute parallel task forces on poverty elimination as well.