India's poverty level drops to 5 percent: NITI Aayog CEO

India's poverty level drops to 5 percent: NITI Aayog CEO
According to CEO B.V.R. Subrahmanyam of NITI Aayog, citing NSSO data, poverty rates have dropped to less than 5%. The survey also highlights that the average monthly expenditure per capita among the bottom 0-5% segment is Rs 1,373 in rural regions and Rs 2,001 in urban areas. The latest NSSO household consumer expenditure data suggests a significant decline in poverty levels in India, with increasing prosperity observed in both rural and urban areas.
According to data from the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), the per capita monthly household expenditure witnessed a more than twofold increase in 2022-23 compared to 2011-12, indicating a notable surge in prosperity levels across the nation. “The consumer expenditure survey also reflects the success of the poverty alleviation measures taken by the government", Subrahmanyam told the media.
The NSSO survey findings are derived from data gathered from 1.55 lakh rural households and 1.07 lakh urban households, categorizing the population into 20 distinct groups. According to the data, the average per capita monthly expenditure across all categories amounted to Rs 3,773 in rural regions and Rs 6,459 in urban areas. Specifically, the average per capita monthly expenditure for the bottom 0-5 percent segment is reported as Rs 1,373 in rural areas and Rs 2,001 in urban areas.
"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 0-5 percent class is about the same. This means that poverty in the country is only in the 0-5 percent group", the NITI Aayog CEO said. "This is my assessment. But economists will analyze it and come out with absolutely correct numbers", he added.
Subrahmanyam further asserted that the data indicates a notable surge in consumption, nearly 2.5 times higher, in both rural and urban regions. Additionally, the survey highlights a faster consumption growth rate in rural areas compared to urban areas, leading to a reduction in disparities between the two segments. The NSSO survey also suggests a considerable decrease in the proportion of expenditure on cereals and food in the total household spending, both in rural and urban settings.
“This means people are becoming prosperous with extra income. And with this increased prosperity, they are spending more on other things than food. Even in food, they are drinking more milk, eating fruits and more vegetables", he added. Subrahmanyam also said: “The contribution of food to CPI inflation will be lower and probably was lower in earlier years also. This means inflation was being overstated and is probably less as food has been a major contributor to inflation".