India Poverty shrunk by almost half, says plan panel

India had only 26.93 cr poor in 2011-12 from 40.7 cr in 2004-05
In its latest calculation of poverty ratio in the country, the Planning Commission has shown it to have declined to 21.9 per cent in 2011-12 from 37.2 per cent in 2004-05.

In a statement, the Commission attributed the decline to increase in per capita consumption.

According to the calculation based on Tendulkar methodology, the percentage of persons below poverty line in 2011-12 has been estimated at 25.7 per cent in rural areas, 13.7 per cent in urban areas and 21.9 per cent for the country as a whole.

Gujarat, which has been in focus for its Vibrant Gujarat’ model of development,  ranks 16 with its 16.63 per cent population living below poverty line. The state also displays vast disparity in rural-urban terms. The percentage of population living below poverty line in rural area is 21.5 and 10 per cent in urban area. Less industrialised states like Uttarakhand (11 per cent) and Rajasthan (14) have performed better than Gujarat

According to the Commission, in 2011-12 for rural areas, the national poverty line by using the Tendulkar methodology is estimated at Rs 816 per capita per month in villages and Rs 1,000 per capita per month in cities.So, persons whose consumption of goods and services exceed Rs 33.33 a day in cities and Rs 27.20 per capita per day in villages are not poor.

The Commission said that for a family of five, the all India poverty line in terms of consumption expenditure would amount to Rs 4,080 per month in rural areas and Rs 5,000 per month in urban areas. The poverty line, however, will vary from state to state.
The percentage of persons below poverty line in 2004-05 was 41.8 per cent in rural areas, 25.7 per cent in cities and 37.2 per cent in the country as a whole.

Thus, the number of people below poverty line has come down from 40.70 crore in 2004-05 to 26.93 crore in 2011-12.

Suresh Tendulkar Committee had suggested that money spent on health and education besides calorie intake should be taken into account to fix the poverty line.

The committee appointed under Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council Chairman C Rangarajan to revisit the Tendulkar Committee methodology for tabulating poverty is expected to submit its report by the middle of 2014.

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