Questioning Planning Commission's latest poverty estimates, NCP leader and Heavy Industries Minister Praful Patel today said they are based on "totally wrong" benchmark of per capita daily expenditure of Rs 33.33 for cities and Rs 27.20 for villages.
"...the ceiling set by them (Planning Commission) is totally wrong. In today's time, Commission should set a new ceiling keeping in mind inflation and high cost of living. We do not agree with this data," Patel told reporters on the sidelines of an industry event here.
According to Planning Commission data, persons spending over Rs 33.33 a day in cities and Rs 27.20 in villages are not poor. Based on this, Commission concluded that the poverty ratio in the country declined to 21.9 per cent in 2011-12 from 37.2 per cent in 2004-05.
On whether living at Rs 27-33 a day was sufficient for poor people, Patel said though there has been progress in the country but the Planning Commission ceiling on poverty is incorrect.
The Planning Commission's poverty calculation, as per the Tendulkar Methodology, has already generated lot of controversy and was criticised across the political spectrum as being unrealistic and unmindful of present day realities.
Led by Sharad Pawar, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is a key alliance partner of the UPA government.
However, the relations between Congress and NCP have not been good recently and Pawar in May had said that Congress had failed to reciprocate its support and friendship.
Patel said considering the present cost of living in the country, the Planning Commission should fix a new ceiling to determine poverty.