Rs32 per day poverty line not all that ‘ridiculous’: Plan panel

“The fact is that Rs4,824 per month for a family (of five persons) to define poverty is not comfortable but it is not all that ridiculous from Indian conditions,” Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said in a letter to attorney general Goolam Vahanvati

New Delhi: Amid raging controversy over Rs 32per capita per day poverty line, Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia has said ‘it is not all that ridiculous’ in Indian conditions, report PTI.

“The fact is that Rs4,824 per month for a family (of five persons) to define poverty is not comfortable but it is not all that ridiculous from Indian conditions,” Mr Ahluwalia said in a letter to attorney general Goolam Vahanvati.

Mr Vahanvati has agreed to appear in Supreme Court of India on behalf of the Planning Commission in connection with the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the Right to Food Campaign.

The Planning Commission has drawn flak from several quarters, including civil society for pegging poverty in urban areas at Rs32 per capita per day. The figure in rural area is Rs26 a day.

Referring to the criticism on poverty line, he said, “Social activists have vociferously criticised the latest poverty line of Rs3,905 for rural areas and Rs4,824 in urban areas as ‘cruel joke’ by converting the figure into per person per day i.e. Rs26 and Rs32 respectively.

“Many people are persuaded by this because they sometimes think of daily allowance as meant for family budget... It does not need to be emphasised that the poverty line is not a comfort line of acceptable living for the aam admi (common man). It is poverty line which by definition implies considerable stress.”

On states’ criticism that Planning Commission is understating poverty, leaving out deserving individuals, Mr Ahluwalia explained, “The fact that states gave many more below poverty line (BPL) cards than their entitlement and what is worse is, they often did not give the cards to deserving people.”

On criticism that the poverty line is not adequate to take care of health and education, Mr Ahluwalia said that these facilities are required to be provided free by the state.

“This has always has been the assumption in calculating poverty line. The (Tendulkar) committee should have brought this out more clearly but they did not. It is absolutely that these facilities are often not provided and where they are provided, they are often not availed of, because of poor quality,” he said.

The solution to these problems, Mr Ahluwalia said, “lies in improving the provision of public service... The solution does not lie in raising the poverty line.”

A controversy was triggered after the Commission filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court which said, “a family of five spending less than Rs4,824 (at June 2011 prices) in urban areas will fall in the BPL (Below Poverty Line) category. The expenditure limit for a family in rural areas has been fixed at Rs3,905 (per month).”

Among others, the National Advisory Council (NAC) member Aruna Roy and Harsh Mander challenged the Rs32 per person poverty definition of the Commission.

Other members of the NAC, which is headed by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, too, had opposed the Commission's definition.

Ridiculing the Commission’s poverty line, NAC member NC Saxena said, “On Rs32 a day, you know only dogs and animals can live.”

He further said, “People who are spending below Rs32 (a day)... They are poorest of the poor. You can call them destitute, you can call them people living in sub-human level.”


Maruti strike costs exchequer Rs350 crore in excise duty

It is estimated that per car on an average, the government is losing Rs68,000 in the form of excise duty, thereby, resulting in a total loss of Rs349 crore. The Haryana government is also losing out Rs6,000 per car on an average as sales tax, resulting in a total of Rs30.80 crore so far

New Delhi: A series of strikes at the country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India’s (MSI) Manesar plant since June this year has resulted in excise revenue losses to the tune of nearly Rs350 crore for the government, while the company has already suffered a hit of up to Rs1,540 crore, reports PTI.

Since the first round of strike for 13 days in June this year to the 33-day-long standoff from 29th August to 1st October and the fresh strike at the Manesar plant from 7th October, MSI has suffered a total production loss of 51,375 units.

According to the industry calculations, it is estimated that per car on an average, the government is losing Rs68,000 in the form of excise duty, thereby, resulting in a total loss of Rs349 crore.

The Haryana government, on the other hand, is also losing out Rs6,000 per car on an average as sales tax, resulting in a total of Rs30.80 crore so far.

The revenue loss to the company from the series of strikes since June is estimated at Rs1,540 crore.

When contacted, a company spokesperson confirmed the production loss due to the series of strikes but declined to comment on the financial losses.

The year 2011 has proved to be a tough one for India’s biggest carmaker. In June, the workers at the Manesar plant had gone on a 13-day-long strike demanding the recognition of a new union—Maruti Suzuki Employees Union.

After it was resolved, a standoff broke out between the workers and the management on 29th August over the issue of signing of a good conduct bond, a prerequisite made for permanent workers to enter the factory premises.

On 1st October an agreement was reached to end the standoff with MSI agreeing to conditionally take back 18 trainees who were suspended. However, it refused to take back 44 regular employees against whom disciplinary action was taken and who remain under suspension.


Shares prices to dip: Tuesday Closing Report

There is no strength in the upmove. Watch whether the Nifty closes below 4,950

The market snapped its two-day gaining streak as negative cues from Europe in the second half of the day pushed the indices into the negative territory and led to a flat close. After the market opened in the positive, the Nifty went on to make a 12-day high (including today) at 5,045. Although the index traded in the positive till the pre-noon session, each time it made a lower high, ultimately slipping into the red. The index made a higher high and higher low but ended in the red on global worries. Yesterday, we had mentioned that the Nifty would move in the range of 5,030 and 5,135. It crossed this level through the intraday high. We now feel that the market is headed down, at least in the short run.

The domestic market opened in the positive on support from its global peers on signs of easing of debt worries in Europe. The Nifty opened 40 points up at 5,020 and the Sensex resumed trade at 16,668, a gain of 111 points over its previous close. Buying in consumer durables, banking, metal and realty stocks boosted the market in initial trade. The Sensex touched its intraday high in the first 15 minutes at 16,774.

Profit-booking set in after the market touched the intraday high, resulting in the indices paring some of the early gains as trade progressed. The market entered the negative terrain in the noon session on a lower opening of the European markets on nervousness ahead of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) expansion vote in the Slovakian Parliament later today.

Dipping to the day’s low in the post-noon session, the Nifty fell to 4,967 and the Sensex touched 16,513. While buying in select stocks lifted the market into the green, the indices flirted near yesterday’s closing levels in subsequent trade. The market closed flat with a negative bias, ending its two-day gaining spree. At close, the Nifty lost five points at 4,974 and the Sensex settled at 16,536, down 21 points. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) saw a volume of 63.32 crore shares.

The advance-decline ratio on the NSE was 997:706.

The broader indices outperformed the Sensex with the BSE Mid-cap index closing 0.49% higher and the BSE Small-cap index adding 0.22%.

In the sectoral space, BSE Consumer Durables (up 1.16%), BSE Metal (up 0.97%), BSE Auto (up 0.87%), BSE Capital Goods (up 0.75%) and BSE Power (up 0.58%) were the top gainers. On the other hand, BSE IT (down 2.70%), BSE TECk (down 1.44%), BSE Oil & Gas (down 0.56%), BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods (down 0.40%) and BSE Realty (down 0.04%) were the losers.

The top performers on the Sensex were Sun Pharma (up 4.47%), Tata Motors (up 3.64%), NTPC (up 3.49%), Bharti Airtel (up 3.18%) and Jindal Steel (up 2.71%). The losers were led by Infosys (down 3.17%), TCS (down 2.26%), Wipro (down 2.04%), ONGC (down 1.88%) and Hindustan Unilever (down 1.76%).

The top-five gainers on the Nifty were Sun Pharma (up 3.88%), NTPC (up 3.22%), Sesa Goa (up 3.17%), Tata Motors (up 2.64%) and SAIL (up 2.41%). The main losers were Infosys (down 3.50%), HCL Technologies (down 2.95%), TCS (down 2.79%), Wipro (down 2.41%) and ONGC (down 2.11%).

Markets in Asia closed trade in the green on the optimism in Europe while the Chinese market climbed after a unit of Beijing’s sovereign-wealth fund increased its stake in four of the country’s biggest banks. Retailers in South Korea got a boost after data showed that wholesale inflation in September eased off a four-month high.

The Shanghai Composite rose 0.16%; the Hang Seng jumped 2.43%; the Jakarta Composite climbed 2.34%; the KLSE Composite gained 1.05%; the Nikkei 225 advanced 1.95%; the Straits Times settled 0.93% higher; the Seoul Composite surged 1.62% and the Taiwan Weighted rose 2.59%.

Back home, foreign institutional investors were net buyers of stocks worth Rs211.71 crore on Monday. On the other hand, domestic institutional investors were net sellers of equities worth Rs37.13 crore.

Pharma major Aurobindo Pharma has received final approval from the US health regulator to manufacture and market generic Gabapentin tablets, used in the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) disorders, in the American market. Gabapentin tablets are the generic equivalent of the Neurontin tablets of Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. The company plans to launch the tablets soon in the US market. Aurobindo Pharma settled 0.94% higher at Rs128.65 on the NSE.

Heavy equipment manufacturer BEML on Tuesday announced its entry into dredging with a technology tie-up with Netherlands-based Vosta LMG. The new stream of business would generate an additional Rs 220 crore in revenue for BEML in the next two years. The stock declined 0.52% to Rs487.05 on to NSE.

The country’s largest power producer NTPC said coal shortage is hurting the performance of several of its plants, including Dadri and Vindhyachal, resulting in lesser electricity generation. Going by estimates, coal shortages are impacting over 4,000 MW of NTPC’s power generation capacity. Despite the setback, the stock gained 3.22% to close at Rs176.10 on the NSE.




5 years ago

Absolute crap report. Yesterday said - that it will oscillate between certain Nifty level ( 5000+ levels)

Did not happen


Moneylife Digital Team

In Reply to Rahul 5 years ago

Thanks for your posting. One small correction, in your outburst, humbly presented: We were right yesterday. Nifty went above 5030. Short term market market movement is random and any prediction weighs the probabilities of different scenarios. Nobody is right all the time. We are more right than wrong. Follow this space. :)

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