'93,000 families living below poverty line in Pondy'

PONDICHERRY, SEPT. 2. Although there were several indicators projecting the improved quality of life of people in the Union Territory of Pondicherry, one must admit that there was poverty as despite higher per capita income, 93,000 families were living below poverty line said the Lt. Governor, Dr Rajani Rai.

She was inaugurating the 22nd biennial conference on National Income and Wealth organised by the Indian Association for Research in National Income and Wealth here.

Pondicherry had been able to provide substaintial allocation of funds for social sectors during successive five year plans and this had contributed to development of human resource.

On an average, 50 per cent of the plan expenditure was earmarked towards social and community sectors for betterment of people at large.

There had been marked improvement over the national average in Pondicherry as could be evidenced by the birth rate which was being 18.4 per thousand against national average of 27.3. Infant mortality was just 22 per thousand against the national average of 71 and per capita income in Pondicherry was Rs 23,135 against national average of Rs 14,682.

Despite this higher per capita income there was poverty in the midst of progress, Dr. Rai deplored. Information Technology was an emerging field and its success depended on how `we could adopt the technology to solve day to day problems of common man to improve standard of living`.

Dr. R. Padmanaban, Development Commissioner of Pondicherry who presided stressed the need for streamlining the health infrastructure and also empowerment of women.

Mr. S. Kanagasabai Director of Economics and Statistics, Pondicherry, welcomed the gathering. Mrs. Uma Datta Roy Choudhury president of the association delivered a key note address. Dr. A. C. Kulshreshtha, Deputy Director General of Central Statistical Organisation, proposed a vote of thanks.

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