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Poverty figures: Opposition brings Lok Sabha to a standstill

March 21, 2012 12:55 IST

The Lok Sabha was adjourned on Wednesday following uproar over fresh poverty estimates released by the Planning Commission, which pegged the poverty line at Rs 28.65 per capita daily consumption in cities.

As soon as the House met, National Democratic Alliance convener Sharad Yadav and Communist Party of India leader Prabodh Panda were on their feet, demanding suspension of the Question Hour for a discussion on the latest poverty estimates of the Planning Commission.

Speaker Meira Kumar said she had disallowed the notices given by Yadav and Panda and called for Question Hour.

Members of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Janata Dal - United and Shiv Sena then trooped into the Well, raising slogans against the Planning Commission. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is also chairman of the Planning Commission, was present in the House.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal pointed out that the discussion on the General Budget was yet to start and agitating members could raise the issue during the debate.

But Opposition members continued to raise slogans. Amid the din, the Speaker adjourned the House till noon.

The commission had released poverty data based on the 66th round of the National Sample Survey (2009-10) figures on household consumer expenditure survey. The national accounts, which provide data for national income, is prepared by the Central Statistical Organisation.

As per the estimates, the poverty ratio has been pegged at 29.8 per cent in 2009-10, down from 37.2 per cent in 2004-05. These are based on the daily per capita consumption of Rs 28.65 in urban cities and Rs 22.42 in rural areas.

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