ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Use and Abuse of the Poverty Line

Irrespective of how the poverty line is defined, it is not possible to arrive at a definitive estimate of the incidence of poverty. Nor can strategies to address the myriad and varied disabilities of the poor be decided on the basis of the overall incidence of income poverty alone. It holds that it makes more sense to focus on gaining a fuller picture of the living conditions of the poor with the Planning Commission preparing a comprehensive report on the state of poverty every five years, as suggested by the Lakdawala Committee in 1993.

This is an expanded version of a paper presented for a seminar in memory of Suresh D Tendulkar held at the Delhi School of Economics in December 2012. Much to my regret, I could not participate in the seminar.

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