Analysis shows that anti-poverty programmes are ‘inefficient and leaky’

An internal analysis in the Planning Commission shows that India can eliminate the poverty gap by spending just a fraction of its annual anti-poverty budget instead of inaugurating new anti-poverty schemes. The cost of pushing all households above the poverty line would have been Rs. 55,744 crore during 2011-12 if cash transfers were used instead of anti-poverty schemes.

Of this, Rs 42,932 crore would have had to be disbursed to the below poverty line households in rural areas and the remaining Rs 12,812 crore to those in urban areas.

In 2011-12, the year for which the latest NSSO Consumption Expenditure Survey data is available, the UPA government had spent Rs 72,822.07 crore on food subsidy. The expenditure in the same year on its seven flagship schemes was Rs 1,09,379 crore.

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