Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Rural Development
06-December-2010 17:04 IST
Recommendations of N.C. Saxena Committee
The Planning Commission is the nodal agency in the Government of India for estimation of poverty at the National and State levels. As per latest official poverty estimates for the year 2004-05, the total number of persons living below poverty line (BPL) for the year 2004-05 is 301.7 million accounting for 27.5% of the total population. The Planning Commission in December, 2005 constituted an Expert Group under the Chairmanship of Prof. Suresh D. Tendulkar to review alternate concepts of poverty and to recommend changes in the existing procedure used for official estimates of poverty. The Tendulkar Committee submitted its report in December, 2009 and recommended the Mixed Reference Period (MRP) equivalent Poverty Line Basket (PLB) corresponding to urban poverty ratio of 25.7% at all India level as the new reference PLB. This new reference PLB has been applied to rural as well as urban population in all the States. The resulting estimate of the all-India rural poverty head count ratio for 2004-05 was placed at 41.8 percent, urban poverty head count ratio at 25.7 percent and 37.2 percent at all-India level which accounts for 407.6 million persons. The poverty lines for rural and urban areas based on per capita consumption expenditure of Rs.446.68 and Rs.578.80 per month respectively for the year 2004-05 recommended by the Tendulkar Committee have been accepted by the Planning Commission.

Dr. N.C. Saxena Committee was set up by the Ministry of Rural Development to advise it on the suitable methodology for BPL Census and not for estimation of poverty. However, in the Report submitted by the Expert Group on 21st August 2009 it is mentioned that the percentage of people entitled to BPL status should be revised upwards to at least 50%. The committee has suggested proportionate increase in the state level poverty estimates also.

The recommendations of the Expert Group and other alternative methodologies are being tested through a pilot socio-economic survey and a Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) exercise in order to finalize the methodology for the final BPL Census.

This was informed by the Minister of State for Rural Development Shri Pradeep Jain ‘Aditya’ in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.