A person who earns Rs3,000 per month, though poor, is not living below the poverty line, a senior minister of the PML-N government said, citing the international yardstick to evaluate the poorest-of-the-poor in the country.
Minister for States and Frontier Regions (Safron) Lt-Gen (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch told the National Assembly on Thursday that according to international standards a person earning Rs3,000 every month is not living below the poverty line.
He was responding to a calling attention notice regarding increase in poverty since 60 million people were living below the poverty line, causing grave concern amongst the public.
Baloch rejected the number, saying the actual number of people living below the poverty line in Pakistan is 29 million. He said poverty is an international issue and there are many standards to judge it.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 15th, 2016.