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Poverty alleviation in India: a study of national plans, programmes and social audit.

Introduction

Since India became part of the global economy and underwent economic reform in 1991, its economy is growing at a faster rate of nearly 10 per cent per annum! In the process, India has become the fourth largest economy in the world. In the last two decades, a significant proportion of the population across the country has reaped the benefits of this economic growth. They have become the part of global economy and market, and their lives have transformed into one of global citizens with all the comforts and luxury in life.

Apart from this burgeoning middle class in the country, the economic growth seemed to have touched the lives of the poor also. According to the National Sample Survey results, people living below poverty line have dramatically come down during the post economic reform era. Poverty alleviation programmes have assumed relevance as it is proved globally that the so-called 'trickle-down effect' does not work in all the societies and India is no exception to this. In recent times, there has been a significant shift in focus in the poverty literature away from the 'trickle-down' concept of growth towards the idea of 'pro-poor growth', which enables the poor to actively participate in and benefit from economic activities. Hence, the strategy of targeting the poor was adopted in India and the economic philosophy behind these special programmes was that special preferential treatment was necessary to enable the poor to participate in economic development. Inclusive growth also focuses on productive employment for the excluded groups. Poverty alleviation programmes have been designed from time to time to enlarge the income-earning opportunities for the poor. The programmes and schemes have been modified, consolidated, expanded and improved over time. These programmes are broadly classified into: The targeted programmes fall into four broad categories: (i) self-employment programmes (ii) wage employment programmes (iii) direct cash transfers to the targeted groups and (iv) Public distribution system (PDS). There are numerous centrally sponsored schemes (CSS) under the first three categories which are designed by the Centre, administered by the Ministry of Rural Development, but implemented by the States with States generally contributing 25 percent to their cost. In addition, some State governments have their own schemes. The multiplicity of the programs is advocated on the grounds of multi-dimensionality of poverty and regional variations in the efficacy of the delivery system. There is also recognition that it is problematic to close a scheme even if it is cost ineffective because of adverse publicity associated with the closure. Through PDS, the Central government is supplying six essential commodities at below market prices to 160 million families through 4, 50,000 nationwide fair price shops. The access to the system was near-universal until 1997. Targeting was introduced in 1997, and now the program is known as Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS). One of the important features of the implementing strategy of the 10th Five Year Plan is the crucial role given to the Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs) in the delivery of TPDS. Till the end of 11th plan, Govt. of India aims at bringing down people below poverty line to the extent of 10 percent. So many programmes have been introduced by the Govt. of India for solving the problems.

Measurement of Poverty: Poverty Line

Poverty line is a cutoff point on the income distribution, which divides the population as poor and non-poor. People below poverty line, are poor and above that line are average or rich. Poverty line is therefore a derivation from inequality of income distribution. However cutoff level of income or expenditure is determined differently in different countries and regions. According to Planning Commission of India, "Poverty line is drawn on the basis of barest minimum desirable nutritional standards of 2400 calories per person per day in rural areas and 2100 calories for urban areas".

Estimation of Poverty in India

In India poverty is estimated on the basis of 'Head Count Ratio' or on the basis of minimum consumption expenditure. In 1973-74 estimation of poverty was made on the basis of consumption expenditure through sample method. Planning commission has prepared several estimates through several basis. Estimation of poverty on the basis of trend and extent can be made in following manner.

Trends in Poverty in India

During five year plans, several programs have been introduced to alleviate poverty in India, yet there has been an increase in the number of poor persons in the country. There were about 32.1 crore persons living below poverty line in 1973-784. It remained almost stagnant during a decade of 1973-1983 but it come down to 26 crore in 1999-2000 and 22 crore in 2004-05. Poverty in rural sector always had been on higher side as compared to urban India. But it came down in 2004-05 in both rural and urban sector. By the end of 11th plan number of poor persons are expected to come down to 13.4 crore. A brief analysis showing absolute trend in poverty in India is shown through following Table-1.

Trends of State Level Poverty of India

In India different states have different number of poor persons. Utter Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttrakhand, Madhya Pradesh etc. have relatively more number of poor persons as compared to other states. In percentage form Orissa has the highest percentage of persons living below poverty line i.e., 43 percentage and Punjab has lowest i.e., 6 percent. A comparative study of rich and poor states is shown below Table-2.

According to economic survey report 2011-2012and 2012-13.

1. The percentage of people below the poverty line is very high in states like Orissa, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttrakhand, and Madhya Pradesh, both in terms of URP and MRP. Punjab is the best performing state in terms of this indicator.

2. Income inequality measured by the Gini coefficient (in rural areas) is highest in Haryana followed by Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal. Though inequality is lowest in rural areas of Bihar and Assam, this may mean greater equality at low levels of income.

3. In urban areas, income inequality is highest in Madhya Pradesh followed by West Bengal, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, and Chhattisgarh.

Regional Poverty and Inequality

Although, income poverty has declined significantly at the all-India level, the decline has not been uniform across rural and urban areas. The poverty reduction in urban areas has usually been sharper than that in rural areas (which is home to nearly 67 percent of Indian population). The table also shows that although the rural income poverty has been declining continuously, income inequality had been growing till 1983-84, declined from 1983-84 to 199394 and increased afterwards from 1993-94 to 2004-05. On the other hand, although the urban poverty has been declining continuously, the urban inequality has been rising in an uninterrupted manner. The last column in the table displays the urban rural differential in per capita consumption expenditure which indicates a widening disparity from 1.334 in 1973-74 to

1.882 in 2004-05 on account of a higher rate of increase in per capita expenditure in urban areas as compared to rural areas.

HCR of 2004-05 and Report No. 508 on Level and Pattern of Consumer Expenditure for 61st Round, 2004-05 for Gini Index and Average Monthly Per capita Expenditure for 2004-05, reports of various rounds of household expenditure surveys conducted by NSSO for the data on average monthly per capita expenditure at current prices from 1973-74 till 1993-94.

Extent of Poverty

Since economic planning, main object of government of India has been lowering of Indian poverty. For this purpose recall, heavy expenditure was made during each plan. But on the basis of 30 days in 1999-2000, 26 percent of Indian population remained below poverty line. In actual fact, percentage of poverty in 1973-74 was 54.9 percent. It came down to 22 percent in 2004-05. Main reasons behind it are a fall in percentage of poverty in both rural and urban sectors. During these years, poverty percentage has come to a less than half. In 2010-11, 25.8 percent of population was below poverty line. In 2011-12, 32 percent of population was below poverty line. It is clear in the table 4 below.

Poverty Estimates for 2011-12

1. The estimates of state wise poverty lines for rural and urban areas for 2011-12 are given in Table-1. The percentage and number of persons below poverty line for all States/UTs for rural areas, urban areas and combined are given in Table-5. The all India poverty ratio is obtained as state-population weighted average poverty ratio, and the all India poverty line is the per capita per month expenditure that corresponds to the all India poverty ratio.

2. The NSSO tabulates expenditure of about 1.20 lakh households. Since these households have different number of members, the NSSO for purpose of comparison divides the household expenditure by the number of members to arrive at per capita consumption expenditure per month. This is called Monthly Per Capita Consumption Expenditure (MPCE) and is computed on the basis of three different concepts: Uniform Reference Period (URP), Mixed Reference Period (MRP), and Modified Mixed Reference Period (MMRP). As per Tendulkar Methodology, the poverty line has been expressed in terms of MPCE based on Mixed Reference Period. State-wise estimates of Average Monthly Per Capita Expenditure for rural and urban areas separately for the year 2011-12 are given in Table-6.

3. For 2011-12, for rural areas the national poverty line using the Tendulkar methodology is estimated at Rs. 816 per capita per month and Rs. 1,000 per capita per month in urban areas. Thus, for a family of five, the all India poverty line in terms of consumption expenditure would amount to about Rs. 4,080 per month in rural areas and Rs. 5,000 per month in urban areas. These poverty lines would vary from State to State because of inter-state price differentials.

4. The national level poverty ratio based on comparable methodology (Tendulkar Method) for 1993-94, 2004-05 and 2011-12 estimated from Large Sample Survey of Household Consumer Expenditure data of 50th, 61st and 68th round respectively are given below.

5. The percentage of persons below the Poverty Line in 2011-12 has been estimated as 25.7 percent in rural areas, 13.7 percent in urban areas and 21.9 percent for the country as a whole. The respective ratios for the rural and urban areas were 41.8 percent and 25.7 percent and 37.2 percent for the country as a whole in 2004-05. It was 50.1 percent in rural areas, 31.8 percent in urban areas and 45.3 percent for the country as a whole in 1993-94. In 2011-12, India had 270 million persons below the Tendulkar Poverty Line as compared to 407 million in 2004-05, that is a reduction of 137 million persons over the seven year period.

6. During the 11-year period 1993-94 to 2004-05, the average decline in the poverty ratio was 0.74 percentage points per year. It accelerated to 2.18 percentage points per year during the 7-year period 2004-05 to 2011-12. Therefore, it can be concluded that the rate of decline in the poverty ratio during the most recent 7-year period 2004-05 to 2011-12 was about three times of that experienced in the 11-year period 1993-94 to 2004-05.

7. It is important to note that although the trend decline documented above is based on the Tendulkar poverty line which is being reviewed and may be revised by the Rangarajan Committee, an increase in the poverty line will not alter the fact of a decline. While the absolute levels of poverty would be higher, the rate of decline would be similar. To illustrate the point, details about the magnitude of decline in poverty ratio at various levels above and below the Tendulkar Poverty Line are presented in various tables

8. The decline in poverty flows from the increase in real per capita consumption. The per annum increase in real MPCE for each of the ten deciles is presented at Table 5. The clear inference is that: (a) the real MPCE increased by much more in the second period (2004-05 to 2011-12) as compared to the first (1993-94 to 2004-05), (b) that the increase was fairly well distributed across all deciles of the population, and (c) the distribution was particularly equitable in rural areas.

Major Problems Caused by Poverty

Impact of Poverty on Women

* Being female is reported to be a risk factor for common mental disorders. Studies from India have shown that poverty and deprivation are independently associated with the risk for common mental disorder in women and add to the sources of stress associated with womanhood.

* Interviews with relatives of young women in rural China who had committed suicide and the survivors of suicide attempts revealed that hopelessness was a core experience, associated with poverty, limited educational and work prospects and the migration of husbands to urban areas for employment; these were in addition to other issues such as stigma for failing to produce a son, spouse and family abuse and forced marriages.

* Within a household, studies reported that some members of the household go without certain goods and services in order to increase the amount available for others; parents most commonly go without on behalf of children and women are most likely to go without than men.

* Depression during pregnancy is a common problem and is associated with indicators of socio-economic deprivation as well as other problems such as violence and loss of an intimate relationship

Impact of Poverty on Children's Mental Health

* Research suggests that household income influences child mental health. Children from low income families appear to have higher levels of depression and anti-social behaviour -such as bullying, being cruel, breaking things, cheating or telling less than children from more advantaged households. Children in chronically poor families show lower cognitive performance. A change in household income also influences the child's mental health. Drops in income increase depression and anti-social behaviour, while a move out of poverty and an improvement in household income results in improved child mental health.

* Poverty results in a less favorable family environment and poor quality parenting. It diminishes the ability of parents to provide supportive, consistent behaviour and may render parents more vulnerable to debilitating effects of life events. Parental mental health and behaviour in turn influences well-being of the child. The risk factors that additively influence a child's psychological adjustment include parents' employment and educational status, family size, maternal mental health, parental divorce, unsafe living environment, and parenting behaviors'.

* It is evident that the child who experiences poverty may also experience other life adversities.

* Adolescents who experience poverty are more likely to engage in drug and alcohol use at earlier ages, initiate sexual activity earlier, have increased mental health problems, and lower levels of academic achievement. The changes in the family due to economic strain are linked to externalized behaviors (marked by defiance, impulsivity, hyperactivity, aggression and antisocial features) in boys and internalized behaviors (evidenced by withdrawal, dysphoria and anxiety) in girls.

Poverty Alleviation Programmes and Social Audit

The programmes have been broadly classified into self-employment programmes, wage employment programmes, food safety programme and social security programmes. The focus is on the central government schemes only. It is not possible to map the special programmes of all the States. It must be noted here that some of the progressive States have added additional components or given further subsidy to enhance the benefits of the central schemes. For example, in the highly subsidized public distribution system of Andhra Pradesh, the BPL card holders were provided rice at Rs. 2 per kg.

Self-employment programmes: This programme was started in 1970s in rural areas of the country in the name of Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) to increase the source of income of small farmers and landless labourers. The beneficiaries were given subsidized credit, training, and infrastructure, so that they could find new sources of earning. In this scheme, agricultural labourers and small farmers received new skills to involve in vocations other than cultivating land. They included fishery, animal husbandry, and forestry. In the 1980s, this scheme was extended to scheduled castes and tribes, women and rural artisans.

IRDP suffered from certain shortfalls. One important factor is the attempt to develop an entrepreneur out of the unskilled landless labourer, who has no experience in managing an enterprise. Therefore, unviable projects were undertaken and sub-critical investments were made leading to collapse of these micro-enterprises. Banks were also indifferent to provide credits to the poor. It did not make a good banking sense to provide a loan to individual poor farmer and landless labourer, who did not have any experience in entrepreneurship. Poor targeting was another problem, where many non-poor managed to get the benefits.

Considering the shortfalls of the IRDP, the government replaced this programme with Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) in 1999. Considering the non-viability of the enterprise of the poor individual and his/her poor credit worthiness, SGSY focused on groups to lend money and develop micro-enterprises. This scheme involves the organization of the poor into self-help groups or SHGs and are provided with credit, technology, infrastructure and training. The SHG may consist of 10 to 20 members. Thus SGSY is a creditcum- subsidy programme, where credit is the major component and subsidy is the minor component. It is a credit driven programme back-ended with subsidy. Banks are generally comfortable with the credit worthiness of the SHGs. Unlike the IRDP, SGSY is more an empowering process and it focused on mainstreaming the poor to join the economic development of the country.

According to Asian Development Bank, microfinance is the provision of a broad range of services such as deposits, loans, payment services, money transfers, and insurance to poor and low-income households and their micro-enterprises 10. SGSY is one such micro-financing scheme of the government. Talking about micro-finance, the Grameen Bank concept of Bangladesh is well known. It is a nongovernmental financial institution providing credit to the poor in Bangladesh. In India, this concept is adapted to the existing commercial banking system. Instead of creating a parallel banking system for micro-credit like in Bangladesh, the Reserve Bank of India issued a policy circular in 1991 to all the commercial banks to participate actively and extend finance to SHGs. Banks had always problems of doing social banking with individuals, as they had to spend time and resources to select those who would pay back the loan. But SHGs, as a group presented a picture of solidarity among likeminded people ommitted to some micro-enterprise or individual goal seem to be credit worthy for the bank. The bank also ensured that the loan is put to use within 7 days for the purpose it was borrowed. Further, the banks allow SHGs to pay in weekly installment of small amount. Apart from the bank credit, the SHGs received government subsidy for their micro-enterprises.

By using the existing banking system of the country, the government has mainstreamed the rural poor into the formal financial system and to the market economy. By the end of March 2004, 1,232,768 SHGs have been linked to mainstream banks for savings services, of which 1,079,091 groups have accessed credit from more than 35,000 branches of commercial, co-operative and rural banks. The cumulative credit disbursed to these groups was US$ 887.32 millions. With an average membership of 16, at least 19 million people have access to formal savings facilities through SHGs, of which about 17 millions have also accessed credit services. This showed the magnitude and the impact of the programme in the country. It has become a social movement across Indian villages.

As a poverty alleviation programme, the success of micro-finance is gauged from its ability to service the population below the poverty line, i.e. targeting the poor. Compared to the normal State led financial institutions, the micro-credit programme performed better in serving the poor. But looking within the programme, various studies showed that only one-eighth of the beneficiaries belonged to below poverty line. It is in strong contrast to the Grameen Bank programme of Bangladesh, where only 4.2 per cent were outside the targeted population. On the whole, the richest among the poor benefited most and they have the capacity to use credit and technology to their advantage.

As a second indicator of evaluation of micro-financing, one would like to see increase in income and asset of the SHG members. Hulme and Mosley had compared the change in income of micro-credit target population and those who are not participating in the micro-credit programme. Their study also differentiated the targeted population into those who are above poverty line and those who are below poverty line. The study showed substantial income increase among the borrowers--an increase of 202 per cent as compared to the nonborrowers. The increase was 133 per cent for the BPL borrowers. This showed that the programme had surely benefited the BPL but at the same time those above BPL could benefit disproportionately higher than the BPL borrowers. In the same study, the researchers had found that those who adopted new technologies in their micro-enterprises had benefited the most and they formed just 12 per cent of the beneficiaries.

Wage Employment Programmes: The main purpose of the wage employment programmes is to provide a livelihood during the lean agricultural season as well as during drought and floods. Under these programmes, villagers worked to improve the village infrastructure such as deepening the village ponds, constructing village schools and improving the rural roads. Thus the programmes not only provided employment to the villagers but also improved village infrastructure and created village public assets. A positive fall out of this programme is that it created higher demand for village labour, thereby pushing up the wage of the labourer in the villages.

Food Security Programme: Meeting the very basic need of access to food is a major challenge to the government in the post-economic reform era. Those who are below poverty line are faced with the problem of meeting this very basic need. Starvation and hunger have been reported in different parts of the country, even in economically advanced States like Maharashtra. There is malnutrition in all age groups, especially among children. Problem of low birth weight due to under nutrition of mother during pregnancy and underweight of children are rampant in the country. The purchasing power of certain section of the society is so low that they cannot access food at the market price. They need the safety net of food subsidy. In this context, public distribution system or PDS assumes importance.

The PDS was originally a universal public distribution system or UPDS. The original UPDS was not conceived as an anti-poverty programme. The main objective was to create a demand for food grains thereby farmers benefiting from their produce. It was meant for price stabilization of food grains by giving price support. Due to widespread poverty in the country, the purchasing power for food grains was low but the supply of food was increasing. As a result, farmers got lower prices for their produce prompting the government to provide support prices and procure the food grains. Thus the government had to sit with overstock of food grains in the absence of a food distribution system. Thus the UPDS was a means to distribute the food grains to the people. Thus this strategy provided food subsidy to the consumers and price support to the farmers.

Social Security Programmes: Social security programmes are meant for those who are at the bottom of the BPL facing destitution and desertion. The central government has launched the National Social Assistance Programme or NSAP in August 1995. Under NSAP, there are three schemes. The first one is the National Old Age Pension Scheme or NOAPS. A pension amount of Rs.75 per month is given to those who are above the age of 65 yr and are destitute without any regular source of income or support from any family members or relatives. Though it is a very useful scheme for the elderly destitute, the coverage of the programme was not satisfactory. In the year 1999-2000, 8.71 million eligible elderly were identified, but the scheme could reach out to only 5 million beneficiaries. It was found that the benefits really reached the poor and the leakage rate was found to be low.

In addition to NOAP, the government has launched another programme called Annapurna in April 2000 for those elderly who are eligible for NOAPS but did not receive it due to budgetary constraints. They are given 10 kilograms of food grains per month free of cost. This programme did not take root in many States. As a result, only Rs. 174.4 million were utilized out of the allocated fund of Rs. 990.5 million in the year 2000-2001.

Urban Poverty Alleviation Programme: Urban poverty is the spill over effect of rural poverty. It is the push factor rather than the pull factor that is driving the urbanization process in most developing countries like India. Due to acute poverty in rural areas, the poor tend to migrate to cities (push factor) in search of work. Since they do not have any employable skills to get employment in the formal sector of the cities, they end up doing odd jobs in the informal sector of the city. Since normal housing is not affordable to them, they settle in lands that are not developed for housing, thus forming slums in cities. Living conditions in some of these slums are more depressive than the living conditions of the rural poor in villages.

Nehru Rozgar Yojana is implemented by the local self-government with the active participation of nongovernmental organizations. Compared to the need of the urban poor, the financial allocation is very small and hence only a few could benefit from this programme.

Urban Basic Services for Poor or UBSP: It is based on the principle of community development involving the community, especially women to improve their communities and environment. This programme is implemented in 25 States and 6 union territories covering 296 cities. Ten million urban poor are benefited from this programme. More than 130,000 women work as volunteers in this programme. The programme is a partnership of city, State and central governments along with NGOs and UNICEF.

Poverty Alleviation Programmes in Eleventh Plan

Under this plan following programmes were adopted for poverty alleviation.

1. Special efforts were made for the development of small and rural industries so as to provide employment in rural sector in non agricultural areas.

2. Special efforts were made for consolidating economic conditions off marginal and small farmers, artisans and untrained labourers.

3. Under MNREGS 100 days employment were provided soon after the registration of 15 days.

4. Aam Adami Bima Yojana has been launched from October 2, 2007. Besides, other initiatives undertaken to alleviate poverty include price supports, food subsidy, land reforms, Area Development Programmes, improving agricultural techniques, free electricity for farmers, water rates, PRIs, growth of rural banking system, grain banks, seed banks, etc. Such endeavors not only reduced poverty but also empowered the poor to find solution to their economic problems. For instance, the wage employment programmes have resulted in creation of community assets as well as assets for the downtrodden besides providing wage employment to the poor. Self-employment programmes, by adopting SHG approach have led to mainstreaming the poor to join the economic development of the country. But the focus on the sustainable income generation still remains illusive. A review of different poverty alleviation programmes shows that there has been erosion in the programmes in terms of resource allocation, implementation, bureaucratic controls, noninvolvement of local communities, etc. NABARD has also been contributing in Rural Poverty Alleviation through its various initiatives/ schemes like SHG Bank Linkage Programme, Watershed development, Tribal development, CDP, REDP, ARWIND, MAHIMA, Support to weavers, RIDF, R&D Fund, etc. The Eleventh Plan gave a special impetus to several programmes aimed at building rural and urban infrastructure and providing basic services with the objective of increasing inclusiveness and reducing poverty.

Plan Required for Poverty Alleviation in India

1. To promote growth in agricultural productivity and non-farm rural activities.

2. Public investment in rural infrastructure and agricultural research. Agricultural research benefits the poor directly through an increase in farm production, greater employment opportunities and growth in the rural non-farm economy.

3. Credit policies to promote farm investment and rural micro enterprises Policies to promote human capital to expand the capabilities of the poor Development of rural financial markets.

4. Self-Help Group Approach to be strengthened as it is a proven method of empowerment of the poor.

5. Involvement of local communities and people's participation in NRLM and MGNREGS.

6. Decentralization of the programmes by strengthening the Panchayat Raj institutions.

7. Public Distribution System (PDS) needs to be reformed and better targeted.

8. Provision of safety nets like targeted food subsidies, nutrition programmes and health.

9. Targeted poverty alleviation programmes to continue as the poor of the developing world may not aver the patience to wait for the trickle-down effect

The main objective of Indian planning is to alleviate poverty. In this regard government has launched many poverty alleviation programmes. Even then no radical change has been undergone in the ownership of assets, process of production and basic amenities to the poor. In this way poverty alleviation programmes have proved failure due to insufficient resources and lack of proper implementation, active participation of poor, proper identification of poor and infrastructure.

Conclusion

Debate on poverty in India has remained mostly in the domain of economists. Poverty is defined in terms of income, expenditure and nutritional value (calorie intake). Social dimension of poverty is a neglected area of study. Poverty is more of social marginalization of an individual, household or group in the community/society rather than inadequacy of income to fulfill the basic needs. Indeed, inadequate income is therefore one of the factors of marginalization but not the sole factor. The goal of poverty alleviation programme should not aim at merely increasing the income level of individual, household or group but mainstreaming marginalized in the development process of the country. The country cannot claim economic growth when a section of the people is marginalized to the periphery of the society. The rapid economic growth process should accelerate the access to services like education and health services for all, especially the marginalized citizens. The link between ignorance and poverty and ill health and poverty are well-established. There are diseases of poverty such as malaria, tuberculosis, diarrhea and malnutrition. Having fallen ill due to poverty, the poor do not have the resources to seek quality health care, for which he/she has to borrow money for treatment. Indebtness due to hospitalization leading to poverty has been well documented. Poverty therefore, is a complex phenomenon of many dimensions and not merely the economic dimension. Poverty alleviation programmes should address the issue of poverty from broader social and economic perspectives.

Reference

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Table 1: Head Count Estimates of Poverty (in Crore)

Year      Rural   Urban   India

1973-74   26.1    6.0     32.1
1977-78   26.4    6.5     32.9
1983-84   25.2    7.1     32.3
1987-88   23.2    7.5     30.0
1993-94   24.4    7.6     32.0
1999-2k   19.3    6.7     26.0
2007      17.0    3.0     20.0
2011-12   10.4    3.0     13.4

Source: Economic Survey 2010-11, Eleventh Five Year Plan

Table 2: Trends in Poverty among Different Sates (on the basis of URP)

States with higher   Percentage   States with lower   Percentage
percentage                        percentage
of Poverty                        of Poverty

Orissa                  46.4      Punjab                 8.4
Bihar                   41.4      Himachal Pradesh       10.0
Chhattisgarh            40.9      Haryana                14.0
Jharkhand               40.3      Kerala                 15.0
Madhya Pradesh          38.3
Uttar Pradesh           32.8

Source: Economic Survey, Govt. of India 2010-2011.

Table 3: Poverty and Inequality across Rural and Urban Areas

Year      Poverty Ration     Gini Index of per      Urban-Rural
          (in percent) URP   capita consumption     disparity in
                             expenditure (in        average monthly
                             percent) current       per capita
                             price                  expenditure (URP)

           Rural    Urban      Rural       Urban

1973-74     56.4     49.0       28.7        31.9     1.334
1977-78     53.1     45.2       29.5        33.7     1.396
1983-84     45.7     40.8       30.0        34.1     1.458
1987-88     39.1     38.2       29.4        34.5     1.585
1993-94     37.3     32.4       28.5        34.4     1.628
2004-05     28.3     25.7       30.5        37.6     1.882

Source: Planning Commission (2002) for HCR and Gini Index till
1993-94, Planning Commission 2007.

Table 4: Percentage of People Living below Poverty Line

Year    1973-74   1977-78   1983-84   1987-88   1993-94

Rural    56.4      53.1      45.7      39.1      37.1
Urban    49.0      45.2      40.8      38.2      32.4
Total    54.9      51.3      44.5      38.9      38.9

Year    1999-2k   2004-05   2010-11   2011-12

Rural    27.1      21.8      27.1      33.2
Urban    23.6      21.7      24.5      30.8
Total    26.1      21.8      25.8      32.0

Source: Economy of India, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Table 5: Percentage and Number of Poor Estimated by Tendulkar method,
using Mixed Reference Period (MRP)

Year                     Poverty Ratio              Number of Poor
                         (percentage)                (in Million)

                    Rural   Urban   Total       Rural   Urban   Total

1993-94             50.1    31.8     45.3       328.6   74.5    403.7
2004-05             41.8    25.7     37.2       326.3   80.8    407.1
2011-12             25.7    13.7     21.9       216.5   52.8    269.3
Annual average      0.75    0.55     0.74
  decline 1993-94
  to 2004-05 *
Annual average      2.32     1.69    2.18
  decline 2004-05
  to 2011-12 *

Source: Press note on Poverty Estimates 2011-12, p. 3. * Percentage
points per annum.

Table 6: State-wise estimates of Average Monthly Per Capita
Expenditure as per Mixed Reference Period for 2011-12

States/UTs           Rural     Urban

Andhra Pradesh      1563.21   2559.30
Arunachal Pradesh   1455.87   2241.63
Assam               1056.98   2090.18
Bihar               970.41    1396.65
Chhattisgarh        904.04    1776.21
Delhi               2690.24   3160.76
Goa                 2460.77   2934.87
Gujarat             1430.12   2472.49
Haryana             1925.96   3346.32
Himachal Pradesh    1800.62   3173.30
Jammu & Kashmir     1601.51   2320.28
Jharkhand           919.59    1894.41
Karnataka           1395.10   2898.94
Kerala              2355.53   3044.22
Madhya Pradesh      1024.14   1842.35
Maharashtra         1445.89   2937.06
Manipur             1334.55   1448.91
Meghalaya           1315.11   2293.82
Mizoram             1384.44   2426.53
Nagaland            1756.70   2279.42
Odessa              904.78    1830.33
Punjab              2136.39   2743.07
Rajasthan           1445.74   2206.93
Sikkim              1445.06   2528.11
Tamil Nadu          1570.61   2534.32
Tripura             1194.14   1996.66
Uttrakhand          1551.42   2452.02
Uttar Pradesh       1072.93   1942.25
West Bengal         1170.11   2489.89
A and N Island      2508.19   4439.03
Chandigarh          2543.57   3000.27
Dadra and Nagar     1094.20   2346.15
Daman and Diu       2239.45   2163.94
Lakshadweep         2533.07   2666.49
Pondicherry         2309.92   2959.82
All India           1287.17   2477.02

Source: NSSO Report No. KI. (68/1.0) on key Indicators of Household
Consumer Expenditure in India 2011-12, NSS 68th round, National
Sample Survey Office.

Table 7: State Specific Poverty Lines for 2011-12

                    Monthly per capita (Rs.)

States / Union      Rural    Urban
  Territory

Andhra Pradesh       860     1,009
Arunachal Pradesh    930     1,060
Assam                828     1,008
Bihar                778       923
Chhattisgarh         738       849
Delhi               1,145    1,134
Goa                 1,090    1,134
Gujarat              932     1,152
Haryana             1,015    1,169
Himachal Pradesh     913     1,064
Jammu & Kashmir      891       988
Jharkhand            748       974
Karnataka            902     1,089
Kerala              1,018      987
Madhya Pradesh       771       897
Maharashtra          967     1,126
Manipur             1,118    1,170
Meghalaya            888     1,154
Mizoram             1,066    1,155
Nagaland            1,270    1,302
Odessa               695       861
Punjab              1,054    1,155
Rajasthan            905     1,002
Sikkim               930     1,226
Tamil Nadu           880       937
Tripura              798       920
Utterakhand          880     1,082
Uttar Pradesh        768       941
West Bengal          783       981
Pondicherry         1,301    1,309
All India            816     1,000

Source: Computed as per Tendulkar method on Mixed Reference
Period (MRP)

Table 8: Number and Percentage of Population below Poverty
Line by States 2011-12

States               Rural        No. of    Urban
                     Percentage   persons   Percentage
                     of persons   (lakhs)   of persons

Andhra Pradesh           10.96     61.80         5.81
Arunachal Pradesh        38.93      4.25         20.3
Assam                    33.89     92.06        20.49
Bihar                    34.06    320.40        31.23
Chhattisgarh             44.61     88.90        24.75
Delhi                    12.92      0.50         9.84
Goa                       6.81      0.37         4.09
Gujarat                  21.54     75.35        10.14
Haryana                  11.64     19.42        10.28
Himachal Pradesh          8.48      5.29         4.33
Jammu and Kashmir        11.54     10.73         7.20
Jharkhand                40.84    104.09        24.83
Karnataka                24.53     92.80        15.25
Kerala                    9.14     15.48         4.97
Madhya Pradesh           35.74    190.95        21.00
Maharashtra              24.22    150.56         9.12
Manipur                  38.80      7.45        32.59
Meghalaya                12.53      3.04         9.26
Mizoram                  35.43      1.91         6.36
Nagaland                 19.93      2.76        16.48
Odessa                   35.69    126.14        17.29
Punjab                    7.66     13.35         9.24
Rajasthan                16.05     84.19        10.69
Sikkim                    9.85      0.45         3.66
Tamil Nadu               15.83     59.23         6.54
Tripura                  16.53      4.49         7.42
Uttrakhand               11.62      8.25        10.48
Uttar Pradesh            30.40    479.35        26.06
West Bengal              22.52    141.14        14.66
Pondicherry              17.06      0.69         6.30
A and N Islands           1.57      0.04         0.00
Chandigarh                1.64       .04        22.31
Dadra Nagar Haveli       62.59      1.15        15.38
Daman and Diu             0.00      0.00        12.62
Lakshadweep               0.00      0.00         3.44
All India                25.70    2166.58       13.70

States               No. of    Total        No. of
                     persons   Percentage   persons
                     (lakhs)   of persons   (lakhs)

Andhra Pradesh        16.98         9.20     78.78
Arunachal Pradesh      0.66        34.67      4.91
Assam                  9.21        31.98    101.27
Bihar                 37.75        33.74    358.15
Chhattisgarh          15.22        39.93    104.11
Delhi                 16.46         9.91     16.96
Goa                    0.38         5.09      0.75
Gujarat               26.88        16.63    102.23
Haryana                9.41        11.16     28.83
Himachal Pradesh       0.30         8.06      5.59
Jammu and Kashmir      2.53        10.35     13.27
Jharkhand             20.24        36.96    124.33
Karnataka             36.96        20.91    129.76
Kerala                 8.46         7.05     23.95
Madhya Pradesh        43.10        31.65    234.06
Maharashtra           47.36        17.35    197.92
Manipur                2.78        36.89     10.22
Meghalaya              0.57       1 1.87      3.61
Mizoram                0.37        20.40      2.27
Nagaland               1.00        18.88      3.76
Odessa                12.39        32.59    138.53
Punjab                 9.82         8.26     23.18
Rajasthan             18.73        14.71    102.92
Sikkim                 0.06         8.19      0.51
Tamil Nadu            23.40       1 1.28     82.63
Tripura                0.75        14.05      5.24
Uttrakhand             3.35        11.26     11.60
Uttar Pradesh        118.84        29.43    598.19
West Bengal           43.83        19.98    184.98
Pondicherry            0.55         9.69      1.24
A and N Islands        0.00         1.00      0.04
Chandigarh             2.34        21.81      2.35
Dadra Nagar Haveli     0.28        39.31      1.43
Daman and Diu          0.26         9.86      0.26
Lakshadweep            0.02         2.77      0.02
All India            531.25        21.92    2697.83

Source: Press note on Poverty Estimates 2011-12, p. 6, Delhi

Table 9: The eleventh Plan (XIth) Plan Allocation under various
Schemes/Programmes

Scheme/Programme                              Proposed out lay
                                                XIth Five Year
                                         (2007-2012) (Lakh Rs.)

SJGSY                                                 29656.12
SGRY                                                  18016.64
DPIP9SS (EAP) / EAPII Phase                           23158.72
Rural roads                                           50000.00
India Avas Yojana                                     27766.71
IWDP                                                  10598.56
DRDA                                                   6012.36
DPAP                                                  21294.84
Gramin Ajivika Pariyaojna                             22480.00
National Rural Rojgar Gurantee Scheme                199881.85
MP Rojgar Gurantee Council                             3800.00
Mid day meal                                         69.462.00
BRGF                                                 225695.00
Community Development                                 29265.20
Walmi                                                  1250.00
Raod maintenance                                       2030.00
State rural road Connectivity                          8647.60
CM Awas Yojana (Apna Ghar)                             6200.00
State SGSY                                             1800.00
Training                                                 50.00
Master Plan                                            1363.00
Sutradhar scheme                                         50.00
Gokul Gram adhosanrachan                               5000.00
Godan Yojana                                           1000.00
Grand Total                                        7,64,478.50

Source: Ministry of Rural Development, p.4.
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Author:Naik, Parameshwara
Publication:Political Economy Journal of India
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jul 1, 2014
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