Poverty in India decreases to 21.9% in 2011-12: Planning Commission

As per Planning Commission, poverty ratio in the country has dropped to 21.9% in 2011-12 from 37.2% in 2004-05 on account of increase in per capita consumption.

Planning Commission on Poverty:
  • Using the Tendulkar methodology for determining the poverty line, the national poverty line in rural areas has been estimated at Rs 816 per capita per month in villages and Rs 1,000 per capita per month in urban areas in 2011-12.
  • It implies that persons whose consumption of goods and services exceed Rs 33.33 in cities and Rs 27.20 per capita per day in villages are not poor.
  • For a family of five, the all India poverty line in terms of consumption expenditure would amount of 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.
  • In 2011-12, the percentage of BPL (Below Poverty Line) people is estimated at 25.7% in rural areas, 13.7% in urban areas and 21.9% for the country as a whole.
  • It shows an improvement in poverty figures if compared to those in 2004-05 when it was 41.8% in rural areas, 25.7% in cities and 37.2% in the country as a whole.
  • In terms of numbers, there were 26.93 crore people below poverty line in 2011-12 as compared to 40.71 crore in 2004-05.
How the estimates of poverty level in India have been made?

This ratio for 2011-12 is based on the methodology suggested by Suresh Tendulkar Committee which takes into consideration the money spent on health and education besides calorie intake to fix a poverty line. As per the Commission, the decrease in poverty is mainly on account of rising real per capita consumption figures which made the 68th round of National Sample Survey on Household Consumer Expenditure in India in 2011-12 the basis for tabulating poverty.

Note: A separate committee under Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) chairman C. Rangarajan will revisit the Tendulkar Committee methodology for estimating poverty. The Committee is expected to submit its report by mid 2014.

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