About 30% of people in India were below the poverty line in 2009-10 that was based on the monthly per capita consumption expenditure (MPCE) of Rs673 for rural areas and Rs860 for urban areas, Parliament was informed today.
"As per the latest available information, the poverty line at all India level for 2009-10 is estimated as MPCE of Rs673 for rural areas and Rs860 for urban areas.
"The percentage of people living below poverty line in the country in 2009-10 has been estimated at 29.8%," Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Planning Rajeev Shukla told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.
Planning Commission is the nodal agency for estimating the number of percentage of people living below poverty line, which it defines on the basis of monthly per capita consumption, he said.
In reply to a separate question, Shukla said that to address the issues relating to hunger, the government has taken a number of steps to ensure food security of the people particularly those below poverty line.
"Government has been providing food grains at highly subsidised prices to the targeted population through states/union territories under the Targeted Public Distribution System and other welfare schemes," he said.
Also, he added, the government has introduced National Food Security Bill in the Lok Sabha which proposes to provide food and nutritional security, in human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices, to people to live a life with dignity.
In addition to providing food security, the government has been implementing various welfare schemes for the poor to address issues like employment, health care, housing.