Saturday, 18 July 2015

Urban Poverty | Socio-Economic and Caste Census

Why in news?
Data recently released.

What are the numbers like?

  • 35% of urban Indian households qualify as poor
    • This is way above earlier estimates of the urban below poverty line (BPL) population for 2011-12, which ranged from:
      • 13.7 per cent as per the Tendulkar Committee’s methodology to 
      • 26.4 per cent going by the Rangarajan expert panel’s formula. 
  •  It is also consistent with findings on rural India already released by the SECC, showing roughly 60 per cent of households to be facing “deprivation”. 
Concern about numbers:
  • Exclusion criteria used was: government employment, income tax status, ownership of two-wheelers or refrigerators, farming of at least five acres of irrigated land, etc.
  • So,  There may be a tendency for respondents to understate income and asset ownership or, alternatively, overstate deprivation.
  • Nevertheless, the SECC data is likely to capture indigence or vulnerability much better than rigid poverty lines
  • The data collected is huge and it will take more than a year for proper interpretation of the numbers as per news in Hindustan Times
How to address this poverty?
  • Direct benefit transfers is the answer -  
    • DBT to the Aadhaar-seeded bank accounts of identified beneficiaries. 
    • It has worked well with LPG, along with  “GiveItUp” campaign
  • They can be extended to food and fertiliser subsidies, scholarships and a host of other welfare programmes. 
[Source: Indian Express, The Hindu]

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