# How do determine the Indian poverty line and estimate the improvements seen over time.

The issue is very easy. Identify a non-corrupt minister. Ask him who amongst his relatives he wants to help using a government scheme for the poor. He will say his brother’s wife’s son’s son’s wife’s brother. Go and ask this guy how much he makes per day. He will say Rs 32 in the city and Rs 27 in the village. Treat these numbers as data. Analyze the data using SAS and declare Rs 33 as the poverty line in cities and Rs 27 in the rural areas. Now go and ask all non-corrupt ministers, how many people do they know in general and how many of them are below the Rs 33 and Rs 27 earning limit.

Once you get these two numbers, for each of the corrupt minister estimate percentage of people who are poor. Then do a simple mathematical average of these percentages and that is your estimate of percentage poverty in India. Note that the accuracy of these estimates depend on how non-corrupt the minister is. For e.g. if minister is 100 percent corrupt, the estimated percentage of poverty would be anywhere from 0 to 100. If he is 0 percent corrupt, the estimate would be 28 percent because that is the truth.