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Poverty in India Reduced to 5%: Niti Aayog Chief

February 26, 2024

New Delhi: Poverty in India has come down to below 5 per cent, claimed NITI Aayog CEO BVR Subrahmanyam citing the latest Household Consumption Expenditure Survey (HCES).

The survey, conducted between August 2022 and July 2023, provides insights into household consumption, highlighting poverty levels and the effectiveness of poverty alleviation measures implemented by the government. Mr Subrahmanyam said that the survey’s data on household consumption is a key metric for evaluating the success of poverty reduction initiatives.

The HCES findings reveal an increase in consumption, with both rural and urban areas experiencing a surge of about 2.5 times. The average monthly per capita consumption expenditure (MPCE) in urban households rose by 33.5 per cent since 2011-12 to ₹ 3,510, while rural India witnessed a significant 40.42 per cent increase, reaching ₹ 2,008.

“Based on this data, poverty levels in the country could be closer to 5% or less,” Mr Subrahmanyam said, as per a TOI report. 

One of the key observations from the survey is the shift in spending patterns, particularly in terms of food expenditure. Rural households, for the first time, allocated less than 50 per cent of their total expenditure to food, according to the survey.

The survey claims that the urban-rural consumption divide has narrowed from 91% in 2004-05 to 71% in 2022-23, signifying a reduction in inequality.

“In food, consumption of beverages, processed food, milk and fruits is growing – an indication of more diverse and balanced consumption,” Mr Subrahmanyam said

Mr Subrahmanyam claimed that benefits like healthcare under the Ayushman Bharat scheme and free education were not factored into the survey, suggesting that destitution and deprivation have nearly disappeared.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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