Even Rangarajan couldn't bring India's poor to BRICS standard
India's national poverty line continues to be the lowest among the BRICS countries, even after the upward revision recommended by the panel headed by former RBI governor C Rangarajan.business Updated: Jul 08, 2014 02:33 IST
India's national poverty line continues to be the lowest among the BRICS countries, even after the upward revision recommended by the panel headed by former RBI governor C Rangarajan – Rs 32 per capita per day in rural areas (Rs 11,660 a year) and Rs 47 per capita per day (Rs 16,884 a year) for urban areas.
In dollar terms, it works out to $194 per capita annually for rural areas and $281 for urban areas.
Compared to this, Brazil's national poverty line is set at $442.8, China's $361, Russia's $2,580 and South Africa's $720 a year.
India has another dubious distinction – one of the highest poverty ratios among developing countries. While the Rangarajan committee estimates India's poverty ratio at 29.6% for 2011-12, the same for Brazil is 9% and for Russia 10.7%, according to data on country-specific official estimates available with the World Bank.
A better picture on comparison emerges on using the World Bank's definition of extreme poverty, which terms people living on less than $1.25 a day as poor. India has 32.7% population living in extreme poverty. The comparative figures for other BRICS countries are: China 11.8% (2009), South Africa 13.8% (2009) and Brazil 6.1% (2009). No such data are available for Russia.
India's record is not too good even in its own backyard. Nepal and Sri Lanka – with respective poverty ratios of 25.2% and 6% -- have done better than India in alleviating poverty. India does a tad better than Bangladesh, where 31.5% are estimated to be living below the official poverty line.