Poorest of poor in the country survive on barely Rs. 17 per day in villages and Rs. 23 a day in cities, as per the latest data released by the National Sample Survey Office on Thursday.

According to the data, which relates to 2011-12 (July-June), five per cent population on the bottom rung had an average monthly per capita expenditure (MCPE) of Rs. 521.44 in rural areas and Rs. 700.50 in urban areas.

On the other end of the spectrum, top five per cent of the population had an MPCE of Rs. 4,481 in rural areas and Rs. 10,282 in urban areas.

The National Sample Survey Office’s (NSSO) 68th round of survey is based on samples consisting of 7,496 villages in rural India and 5,263 urban blocks except some remote areas, during July 2011-June 2012, the release said.

On an average on the all-India basis, MPCE was around Rs. 1,430 for rural India and about Rs. 2,630 for urban India.

“Thus average urban MPCE was about 84 per cent higher than average rural MPCE for the country as a whole, though there were wide variations in this differential across states,” it said.

For the average rural Indian, food accounted for 52.9 per cent of the value of consumption during 2011-12. This included 10.8 per cent for cereals and cereal substitutes, 8 per cent for milk and milk products, 7.9 per cent on beverages, refreshments and processed food, and 6.6 per cent on vegetables, the release said.

Among non-food item categories, fuel and light for household purposes (excluding transportation) accounted for 8 per cent, clothing and footwear 7 per cent, medical expenses 6.7 per cent, education 3.5 per cent, conveyance 4.2 per cent, other consumer services (excluding conveyance) 4 per cent, and consumer durables 4.5 per cent.

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