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Request to Prof. Roy, Naveen



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a) I'd like to make a final (third?) request to Prof. Roy: the point-wise
agenda you had submitted to Rajeev Gandhi is an extremely useful document.
Could we have it on IPI's web site? Please send it forward to me asap at my
above email address. Grateful. There is NO point these things lying in your
computer. Let these be openly debated.
      
b) I'd like to request Naveen at Yojana Bhawan (or anyone else familiar
with these things) to inform me/us of the following statistics urgently:

	i)  Current poverty line (PL) in rural /urban areas in Rupees.
	ii) What is the level below which a person will simply die? I.E., is it
		reasonable to assume that the Indian income distribution curve is 
		bounded toward zero at a small, positive level, given that 
		we do not have starvation deaths in India? I.E., is there a 		pci_d s.t.
pci < pci_d leads to (instant) death?
	iii) What is the current best estimate of the # of persons with pci <
PL? I use 0.4 of 1 billion as a first approximation.

Now, let pci = per capita income. I expect the distribution of pci < PL to
be approximated by the exponential. If l is the standard parameter lambda,
then f(x) = l*e ^ -l*x. I have not worked out the maths yet, but roughly
speaking, if lambda = 1, and PL = Rs.8,000 then 50% of the persons below PL
can be lifted above PL by providing an infusion of appx. Rs.400 per person
per year. In other words, a negative income tax of Rs. 16,000 crores (a
mere $3.8 billion per year) OR LESS, can lift 50% of the population
straight above the poverty line. This is VERY rough, though, and I'd like
the mathematicians here to verify and come up with the detailed formulae.

Apparently one Dr.Sen (Advisor, Plg. Commission) deals with these things. I
tried to get him on the phone but he was in a meeting. I tried many times
but failed. I would like to know if Dr. Sen has worked on this statistic
earlier, and if so what are his conclusions? I believe that elimination of
poverty from India at one stroke is a doable thing even today, provided we
get rid of diffused subsides such as PDS, fertiliser, electricity, etc.
Also, what is the magnitude of such useless subsidies, intended to reach
the poor, but which line the pockets of the rich? Please help. I see a
strong case for DIRECT elimination of poverty emerging at the expense of
useless subisidization, but we need to make a sound study first.

SS



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