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NITI Aayog: India’s Poverty Level Drops to 5% of Population

NITI Aayog CEO BVR Subrahmanyam has said India’s poverty level has fallen to just five per cent, signalling an improvement in the nation’s economic landscape.

He cited the latest consumer expenditure survey conducted by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), indicating a significant rise in household consumption expenditure.

It may be noted that the report has been released after more than a decade’s gap. It revealed that per capita monthly household expenditure more than doubled in 2022-23 as compared to 2011-12.

Subrahmanyam highlighted the importance of the survey in assessing poverty levels and the effectiveness of poverty alleviation measures.

He expressed confidence in the survey findings and said: “The data indicates that poverty in India is now below five per cent.”

The survey categorised people into 20 different groups, revealing that the average per capita monthly expenditure in rural areas is Rs 3,773, while in urban areas, it stands at Rs 6,459.

Subrahmanyam pointed out that poverty primarily persists in the 0-5 per cent income bracket.

“If we take the poverty line and inflate it with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to today’s rate, we see that the average consumption of the lowest fractional, the 0-5 per cent, is about the same. This means poverty in the country is there in the 0-5 per cent group only,” the NITI Aayog CEO said.

Highlighting the positive trends, Subrahmanyam noted that consumption has surged by 2.5 times in both rural and urban areas, indicating progress across the board. Moreover, he underscored the narrowing gap between rural and urban consumption, suggesting a positive trajectory towards economic parity.

One significant finding from the survey is the decline in the consumption of cereals and food items, indicating a shift towards a more prosperous lifestyle.

People are now allocating more income towards non-food items, such as milk, fruits, vegetables, and processed foods, reflecting increased prosperity and evolving consumption patterns.

Subrahmanyam also highlighted the potential implications of the NSSO survey on inflation and GDP, suggesting a need for rebalancing the consumer price index to accurately reflect current consumption patterns.

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