India’s new poverty line “laughable”

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is under immense pressure as public uproar over the country’s new poverty benchmark intensifies. With the new poverty threshold guidelines, millions of Indians stand to lose their food and welfare benefits.

As part of a new food security legislation, the Planning Commission proposes a daily income threshold of Rs 32 ($0.64) for urban areas like Delhi and Mumbai and Rs 26 ($0.52) for rural areas. The World Bank’s poverty line is $1.25 per day.

. . .

Poverty line estimates in India are traditionally calculated by nutrition intake and results suggest that under-nutrition may be much more widespread than income poverty.

India is home to more poor people than the entire sub-Saharan Africa region. As many as 400 million Indians live on less than $2 a day.

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