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Poverty in India could be closer to 5% or less: NITI Aayog chief

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Poverty in India could be closer to 5% or less: NITI Aayog chief
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New Delhi: NITI Aayog CEO BVR Subrahmanyam claimed that poverty in the country has come down to below 5 per cent citing the key metric of household consumption from a survey.

The latest Household Consumption Expenditure Survey (HCES) for August 2022 and July 2023 found an increase in consumption, marking a surge of about 2.5 times in both rural and urban areas, according to NDTV.

The survey, according to the report, insightfully citing household consumption, highlights effectiveness of poverty alleviation measures introduced by the government.

Subrahmanyam termed the data on household consumption, provided by the survey, as the key metric for assessing ‘poverty reduction initiatives’.

The HCES findings mark that ‘the average monthly per capita consumption expenditure (MPCE) in urban households rose by 33.5 per cent since 2011-12 to ₹ 3,510’.

When it comes to rural India, the survey showed a significant 40.42 per cent increase, reaching ₹ 2,008.

‘Based on this data, poverty levels in the country could be closer to 5% or less,’ Subrahmanyam reportedly said.

The survey pointed at a shift in spending patterns with rural households allocating to food less than 50 percent of their total expenditure for the first time.

The urban-rural consumption difference came down to 71% in 2022-23 from 91% in 2004-05, marking a reduction in inequality.

‘In food, consumption of beverages, processed food, milk and fruits is growing - an indication of more diverse and balanced consumption,’ Subrahmanyam was quoted as saying.

Subrahmanyam, suggesting disappearance of deprivation and destitution, said the survey did not take into account the government’s the Ayushman Bharat and free education schemes.

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