Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah, during a press conference in Tripura on May 6, 2017, claimed: “Out of a population of 3.7 million, almost 65% are living below the poverty line”.
BJP’s official Twitter handle tweeted about it as well.
— BJP (@BJP4India) May 7, 2017
We fact-checked his claim and found it to be false.
The population living below the poverty line (BPL) in Tripura is 14.05% in 2011-12, according to government data, compared to the national average of 21.92%.
Source: Reserve Bank of India; BPL: Below Poverty Line; Data for 2011-12
The poverty line was calculated using the Tendulkar methodology by the erstwhile Planning Commission. It estimates an income of Rs 816 per capita per month in rural areas and Rs 1,000 per capita per month in urban areas for 2011-12 as the threshold for the poverty line.
For example, for a family of five, the all-India poverty line in terms of consumption expenditure would be about Rs 4,080 per month in rural areas and Rs 5,000 per month in urban areas.
The poverty ratio in India has declined from 45.3% to 21.9% between 1993-94 and 2011-12, while people living below poverty line has declined from 407.1 million to 269.3 million over the same period, IndiaSpend reported on July 23, 2013.
NITI Aayog, the government’s premier think-tank, will soon set up an expert committee to arrive at a new poverty line, Business Today reported on January 13, 2017.
(Saha is an MA Gender and Development student at Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex.)