Research by JNU Shows Inequality Has Increased in Both Rural & Urban Areas

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

NEW DELHI: Poverty in India has fallen at twice the rate since 2004-05 as compared with the previous decade, says a study by two professors of Delhi’s Jawarharlal Nehru University.

The average annual decline in poverty rose to 4.3% in the six years from 2004-05, as against 2.1% between 1993-94 and 2003-04, Sukhadeo Thorat and Amaresh Dubey said in a research paper.

While the period after 2004-05 saw poverty alleviation in social groups that had remained out of the growth process, it also saw inequality increase marginally in both rural and urban areas, the study titled “How Inclusive Growth has been During 1993/94 – 2009/10” says.

It shows that the current Five-year Plan (2007-12) has delivered on its objective of laying the foundation for inclusive growth in India.

The study says that taking into consideration the nature of income distribution and poverty incidence in urban and rural areas, “a particular poverty line” is not likely to affect the changes in poverty incidence overtime.

The research comes a month after the Planning Commission, in a joint statement with the rural development ministry, said its state poverty line would not be used for capping benefits to the poor under various government schemes.

The Commission plans to use inputs from the study to formulate its strategy for the next plan period (2012-17).

For rural areas, decline in poverty accelerated from 2.2% between 1993-94 and 2004-05 to 4.4% in the period 2004-05 to 2009-10. For the same period, poverty reduction in urban areas rose from 1.9% to 3.9 %.

The study shows that farm-sector policies from 2004-05 onwards helped reduce poverty among small and marginalised farmers. It suggests that since agricultural growth has the potential to reduce poverty, there is a need to strengthen the current pattern of growth.

Source: The Economic Times (link opens in a new window)