ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Bad News on the Poverty Front

Rural poverty is now four times that of the urban levels, and it accounts for 90% of the nation’s poor.

Three recent reports published by different agencies highlight the major failings on the poverty front at the national level. They point out that the pace of poverty reduction in India has not only slowed down in the recent years but also that poverty levels have even rebounded back during the pandemic. To make matters worse, India’s ranking in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) has slipped further as a consequence of the large loss of livelihoods. Adding to the problems, the level of rural poverty has now gone up four times that of the urban areas. Surely, the government can choose to ignore this dire situation only at its own peril.

The report titled “Poverty and Shared Prosperity” by the World Bank estimates that the pandemic and the Ukraine war have added 70 million to those living below the extreme poverty line globally. And India, which experienced a pronounced economic contraction, was the worst affected. Though poverty estimates for 2020 are still being finalised, the initial numbers indicate a 56 million increase in the number of poor nationwide. This shows that the government’s welfare measures like the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee programme and the supply of free food have not been able to neutralise the impact of the huge loss of livelihoods during the pandemic.

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Updated On : 5th Nov, 2022
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