About 60% of India's rural population live on less than Rs 35 a day and nearly as many in cities live on Rs 66 a day, reveals a government survey on income and expenditure.
"In terms of average per capita daily exp:enditure, it comes out to be about Rs 35 in rural and Rs 66 in urban India. About 60% of the population live with these expenditures or less in rural and urban areas," said Director General of National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) J Dash in his preface to the report.
According to the 66th round of National Sample Survey (NSS) carried out between July 2009 and June 2010, all India average monthly per capita consumer expenditure (MPCE) in rural areas was Rs 1,054 and urban areas Rs 1,984.
The survey also pointed out that 10% of the population at the lowest rung in rural areas lives on Rs 15 a day, while in urban areas the figure is only a shade better at Rs 20 day.
"The poorest 10% of India's rural population had an average MPCE of Rs 453. The poorest 10% of the urban population had an average MPCE of Rs 599", it said.
The NSSO survey also revealed that average MPCE in rural areas was lowest in Bihar and Chhattisgarh at around Rs 780 followed by Orissa and Jharkhand at Rs 820.
Among other states, Kerala has the highest rural MPCE at 1,835 followed by Punjab and Haryana at Rs 1,649 and Rs 1,510 respectively.
The the highest urban MCPE was in Maharashtra at Rs 2,437 followed by Kerala at Rs 2,413 and Haryana at Rs 2,321. It was lowest in Bihar at Rs 1,238.
The median level of MCPE was Rs 895 in rural and Rs 1,502 in urban India, indicating consumption level of majority of population.
According to the study, food was estimated to account about 57% of the value of the average rural Indian household consumption during 2009-10 whereas it was 44% in cities.
The study reveals that the average monthly per capita consumption of cereals was 11.3 kg in rural areas and 9.4 kg in cities.
Based on NSSO estimates, the Planning Commission had pegged that poverty line at Rs 28.65 and Rs 22.42 daily consumption in urban and rural areas respectively in 2009-10.
As per the Commission's estimates the number of persons living below poverty line was 35.46 crore in 2009-10, as compared to 40.72 crore in 2004-05.