Research & Working Papers 2010

The Official Poor in India, Summed Up

Rajesh Shukla

Research Paper | Indian Journal of Human Development

This paper aims to identify the poor households in terms of the levels of poverty and inequality by using income data from the nation-wide ‘National Survey of Household Income and Expenditure (NSHIE-2004-05)’of the NCAER. The definition used by the Tendulkar Committee (41.8 per cent poor in rural and 25.7 per cent poor in urban India) is applied by using the per capita income level for arriving at the official ‘poor’ households. Further, a comparative profile of the poor and non-poor households is presented by using various socio-economic indicators collected in the survey. For instance, the results of the survey reveal that around one-fourth of the 14 million odd official ‘poor’ households in urban India own a two-wheeler each, one-third of them own a colour television each, and almost two-third own a pressure cooker each. Almost one in five urban official ‘poor’ households has at least one well-educated member who is graduate or above, member. The paper also attempts to test the sensitivity of the poverty measures to the different deprivation ratios estimated by the Planning Commission, the World Bank, Arjun Sengupta (NCEUS report) and Suresh Tendulkar.