Every third Indian is poor, says Tendulkar panel

Published - December 10, 2009 08:21 pm IST - New Delhi

Every third Indian is living below the poverty line, estimates an expert group saying that more than 37 per cent of people are poor, ten per cent more than estimated earlier.

Among the states, Orissa and Bihar are at the bottom, while Nagaland, Delhi and J&K have the least number of poor, says a report by the expert group, headed by Suresh Tendulkar, former chairman of PM’s Economic Advisory Council.

As much as 41.8 per cent of the rural population survive with monthly per capita consumption expenditure of Rs. 447, in other others they spend only Rs. 447 on essential necessities like food, fuel, light, clothing and footwear.

Among the urban population, 25.7 per cent are poor, spending Rs. 578.8 on essential needs.

The group submitted the report earlier this week. It was set up in the wake of growing criticism of the existing official estimates of poverty released by the Planning Commission in 2007.

According to the Planning Commission’s recent estimates, poverty in India came down from 35.97 per cent in 1993-94 to 27.54 per cent in 2004-05.

Although the Tendulkar report has estimated the poverty at 37.2 per cent against the Commission’s estimate of 27.5 per cent, it did say the estimates are “not comparable” as the former is based on new basket of goods.

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