Bihar and Orissa are the worst affected states in term of poverty:Tendulkar committee report

December 11, 2009 at 3:12 pm Leave a comment

New Delhi, Dec 10 (PTI) Every third Indian is living in poverty, according to the estimate of a government-appointed committee which said the number of the poor has shot up by nearly 10 per cent to over 37 per cent.

The expert group, headed by former chairman of PM’s Economic Advisory Council Suresh Tendulkar, in its report on poverty said 41.8 per cent of the rural population spend a meagre amount Rs 447 a month on essential necessities like food, fuel, light, clothing and footwear.

The situation is slightly better in urban areas, with 25.7 per cent being poor and they spend Rs 578.8 a month.

India’s population is over one billion.

Among the states, Orissa and Bihar are the worst while Nagaland, Delhi and J&K have the least number of the poor.

However, according to the World Bank’s estimates, 41.6 per cent Indians live on less than USD 1.

CNN-IBN: The poor in India have increased by 10 per cent, according to a report by the an expert group headed by former chairman of Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council Suresh Tendulkar.

Tendulkar Committee report says Bihar and Orissa are the worst affected states in term of poverty.

The report says that in 2004 poverty in India was actually 10 per cent more than estimated with poverty in rural India at 42 per cent and not 28 per cent as was estimate earlier.

So the overall poverty figure is 37 per cent and not 27 per cent as was estimated in 2004

The only silver lining is that there is no change in urban poverty which is 27 per cent.

“It is a new poverty line, defined on a wider access to commodity and services like health and education and not calories,” Tendulkar said about the methodology used by him to find out poverty.

In a controversial move, Tendulkar Committee has steered away from the calorie norm set in 1973-74, which is the money required to access 2100 calories in urban areas, and 2400 calories in rural areas.

In the past 35 years, the calorie norm was never revised saying that this one indicator was not enough, Tendulkar has added expenditure needed for health and education also.

“In fact they have given a calculation for 1993-94 which shows that whether it is the old method of the new method, the increase in poverty in 2004-05 is roughly the same,” Planning Commission member Abhijeet Sen said.

In yet another departure, he also measures the urban and rural poor with the same unit.

So as per 2004-05 prices, a person spending less than Rs 19 in urban areas and Rs 15 in rural areas would now be called poor.

The current poverty line is a per capita expenditure of Rs 12 per day.

The report is a sobering one and means that an average growth of 6-7 per cent in the past decade, or the anti-poverty interventions by the government have not worked as desired, expected or imagined.

The report will have serious policy implications with more people being entitled to anti poverty measures.

It also forces the government to wake up to the fact that you have more needs that are as fundamental as calorie intake.


Entry filed under: Poverty and hunger, State Watch-Monitoring the Odisha State.

Orissa has the highest number of poor; what is the state govt doing? Seventy percent of Special Problem Fund money goes to CM Naveen Pattnaik’s constituency

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