57 years post-Independence, 30.17 cr BPL
New Delhi, Mar 21: The government today confirmed that 30.17 crore people still live Below the Poverty Line (BPL), but the consolation is that poverty addressal rate has improved during the last decade.
The sad part of India's development experience is that of the 110 crore population, almost 30 crore continue to live below the officially defined poverty line, despite 57 years of Independence.
During the last decade, 8.5 per cent of the population came out of poverty -- a period driven by reforms which was also a witness to coalition politics coming into its own. The bulk of this period saw BJP-led coalitions in power.
The estimates released by the Planning Commission here state that in 2004-05 as much as 27.5 per cent of the population still lives below the poverty line, while in 1993-94 there were 36 per cent people in this bracket.
The improvement was more in the rural sector where poverty estimates based on uniform recall period show a fall from 37.3 per cent in 1993-94 to 28.3 per cent in 2004-05. During the same period urban poverty came down by only 6.7 per cent, from 32.4 per cent in 1993-94 to 25.7 per cent in 2004-05.
The Planning Commission's estimates are based on the large sample survey data on household consumer expenditure conducted by the NSSO.
The estimates are likely to put in question UPA's government's strategy relating to the rural economy.
Programmes like Bharat Nirman, National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, and Rural roads, may need a fresh look in the backdrop of the latest revelations, analysts say.