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India should now move to higher poverty line: Author of Brookings report


India should now move to higher poverty line: Author of Brookings report

New Delhi, March 2 (IANS) In a major shot in the arm for the Modi government, an American think-tank report on Saturday said that India has successfully eliminated ‘extreme poverty’ and also lauded the government’s focus and thrust on uplifting millions of people out of the poverty, with its series of welfare programs.

The Brookings report, authored by economists Surjit Bhalla and Karan Bhasin, said that the Indian economy was now ‘coming of age’ and it was time for the country to ‘graduate to a higher poverty line’.

Karan Bhasin, in an exclusive conversation with IANS, said “Latest HCES data shows that India has experienced a rapid decline in extreme poverty figures.”

“The Headcount Poverty Ratio (HCR) for the 2011 PPP$ 1.9 poverty line has declined from 12.2 per cent in 2011-12 to 2 per cent in 2022-23. For the PPP$ 3.2 line, HCR declined from 53.6 per cent to 20.8 per cent,” he added.

Further opining on decline in consumption inequality, Karan told IANS: “This decline has come largely due to inclusive growth experienced in the last decade combined with strong policy push by the government towards ensuring improved living standards for all in the economy.”

“With India eradicating extreme poverty, India should now consider moving to a higher poverty line,” he said.

When asked about government’s role in the transformation change in poverty index, Karan said: “There has been substantial reduction in extreme poverty and even at the higher poverty line, the decline in poverty in last 10 years is comparable to what it was in 30 years. Overall, these are positive developments.”

The American think-tank report comes days after National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), under the Ministry of Statistics found increase in household consumption expenditure. It found that the per capital monthly household expenditure more than doubled in last ten years, from 2011-12 to 2022-23.

The report, decoding the reasons behind this ‘generational shift’ took note of Centre’s redistribution of welfare programs and said that the focus on remote rural centers, with even lowest economic indicators got due attention, which in turn, paved the way for this change.



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