Poverty has declined on an average of 1.5% during nine years of the UPA regime but inequality between the richest and the poor has increased, the Economic Survey for 2012-13 said.
The survey said the fall in poverty numbers by 54.2 million can be attributed to increased spending of the government on social sector and gains from high economic growth.
"The central government expenditure on social services and rural development has increased 14.77%...showing higher priority to this sector," the survey said.
Although, the survey said that the urban-rural inequality has reduced, it was silent on rising inequality between the top 10% of the rich and the bottom 10%. of the poor. The survey also painted a dismal picture on employment generation.
The survey suggested that direct benefit transfer with the help of unique identification or Aadhaar number can help in plugging leakages, which is an area of concern as the government spending on social sector saw 149% increase in the 11th plan.