Poverty declined to 29.8 pc in 2009-10: Plan panel

New Delhi: The Planning Commission on Monday said that the poverty in India has come down in the country during the 2009-2010 period. According to its latest report, the Commission said more than 8 per cent of India has come above the poverty line in five years.

Going by the controversial daily consumption number of Rs 28.65 per day, one out of every three Indian is poor as per the new Planning Commission’s estimates, which has pegged the poverty ratio in 2009-10 at 29.8 per cent, down from 37.2 per cent in 2004-05.

An individual above a monthly consumption of Rs 859.6 in urban cities and Rs 672.8 in rural areas (at per 2009-10 prices) is not considered poor, says the Planning Commission’s estimate based on the controversial Tendulkar Committee methodology.

The Planning Commission has said more than 8 per cent of India has come above the poverty line in five years.

Poverty declined to 29.8 pc in 2009-10: Plan panel

Associated Press

The Plan panel has kept the poverty threshold in its recent estimates lower than Rs 32 per capita per day consumption in urban cities and Rs 26 in rural areas is provided last year, which were based on June 2011 prices.

The Plan panel had said in its affidavit before the apex court that the “poverty line at June 2011 price level can be placed provisionally at Rs 965 (Rs 32 per day) per capita per month in urban areas and Rs 781 (Rs 26 per day) in rural areas”.

The civil society had questioned this definition stating it was very low.

Poverty has actually increased significanlty in the north eastern states, decreased marginally in bihar, UP, chhattisgarh. The surprise was Odisha, which shows a sharp decline.

As per estimates released on Monday, the number of poor in India has declined to 34.47 crore in 2009-10 from 40.72 crore in 2004-05.

The methodology recommended by the Tendulkar Committee includes spending on health and education, besides the calorie intake.

Among religious groups, Sikhs have lowest poverty ratio in rural areas at 11.9 per cent, whereas in urban areas, Christians have the lowest proportion of poor at 12.9 per cent. Poverty ratio is the highest for Muslims, at 33.9 per cent, in urban areas.

Further, poverty in rural areas declined at a faster pace than in urban cities between 2004-05 and 2009-10.

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One thought on “Poverty declined to 29.8 pc in 2009-10: Plan panel

  1. terraurban March 20, 2012 at 6:59 am Reply

    Here is an interesting article:

    http://kafila.org/2012/03/20/lets-not-count-the-poor/

    Let’s not count the poor- by by Shivam Vij

    …..But such is the debate on poverty that the definition of poverty itself is subject to debate. How poor do you have to be, so that the government will say you are poor?

    ….Counting the poor leads us to compare poverty numbers and give us relief. Ah, only 30% Indian poor now, as opposed to 50% in such and such decade, nice! Great job India! No, this is not what the poor deserve, whether they are 30% or 50%. Perhaps we should stop counting the poor.

    Here’s a better benchmark of poverty figures, if we really need them. The mobile phone is today a necessity and when you travel in rural India you realise only the very poor don’t have a mobile phone. Recently, the 2011 Census of India (more trustworthy an organisation than the Planning Commission any day) revealed that 63.2% households (not individuals) have a phone, mobile or landline. Which means 36.8% people are too poor to have a mobile phone, a basic necessity today after roti, kapda makaan (food, clothes and housing).

    By contrast, 53.1% households do not have a toilet – for the simple reason that it costs much more to build a toilet than to buy a mobile phone. Which is a comment on the opacity of poverty figures – forget the technical definitions, forget the ‘below’ and ‘above’ poverty line ration cards. In popular parlance, poverty figures give the impression that there are people who are poor and then there are people who are not poor.

    So you could say nearly 37% Indian households are poor, not 30%, as the Planning Commission would have us believe. But then 53% Indian households don’t even have a toilet – so those among them who can afford a phone, what use being thought of as non-poor?

    It is because of the farcical nature of the debate over growth and poverty figures in India that we have a situation that despite high GDP growth rate in the much-celebrated state of Bihar, the official poverty decline there has been negligible and the state has been granted an increase in the number of people it can classify as poor.

    End the farce. Forget poverty numbers, have universal PDS. Those who can afford better quality rice will not buy Rs. 2 a kg rice from a government ration shop. Just as you don’t ask people whether they have a Below Poverty Line ration card before giving them free healthcare, you don’t need to count them to give them subsidised foodgrain. That is essential to make sure that while poor Indians try to come out of poverty, they have food to eat. We should worry less about counting the poor and far more about delivering the services than can alleviate poverty.

    And then let’s count how many Indians earn how much. A graphic from, again, the Times of India, that shows that only 1.2% of Indians have a household income (not individual income) of more than Rs 30,000 a month, and less than 10% have a household income of more than Rs. 10,000 a month.

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