UP a poor state but its people have more assets than those in most states
Niti Ayog report shows UP to be the country’s third poorest/most deprived states after Bihar and Jharkhand. But, a careful analysis also shows that in terms of possession of assets, only 12.4% of UP’s total population was found to be poor and its situation better than 18 other states
LUCKNOW Uttar Pradesh is a poor state but its people are richer than their counterparts in most other states, including the richest ones like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Haryana, when it comes to possession of assets and bank accounts by them.
The statement may sound contradictory, but this is what the Niti Aayog’s recent poverty figures show.
The Central government’s premier think tank body recently released the baseline report of India’s first-ever national Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI) measure based on the reference period of 2015-16 of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS). The national MPI measure has been constructed by utilising 12 key components which cover areas such as health, nutrition, education, sanitation, drinking water, housing, electricity and standard of living.
The report showed UP to be the country’s third poorest/most deprived states after Bihar and Jharkhand. As much that 37.79% of UP’s population was found to be multi-dimensionally deprived or poor on 12 crucial parameters.
However, a careful analysis of the same report also shows that in terms of possession of assets, only 12.4% of UP’s total population was found to be poor and its situation was far better than 18 other states that included not only neighbouring Rajasthan, MP, Uttarakhand, but also comparatively richer ones like Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal and Telangana.
UP was found to be on 19th position and above rich states like Maharashtra, Gujarat.
“The household is deprived if it does not own more than one of these assets: Radio, TV, telephone, computer, animal cart, bicycle, motorbike, or refrigerator; and does not own a car or truck,” the report explains.
“In the case of the indicator for assets, the criteria for the car or truck ownership acts as exclusion criteria. Therefore, even if a household does not have a radio, television, telephone, computer, animal cart, bicycle, motorbike, or refrigerator, but has either a car or a truck, then the household will be treated as non-deprived,” the report clarifies.
Similarly, only 4.88% of UP’s population was found to be deprived when it came to possessing bank accounts. “A household is deprived if none of its members has a bank account or post office account,” the report points out.
It was found that population, which was deprived or did not have a bank or post office account, was more in 20 other states that included Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttarakhand and MP.
Experts agree that it is interesting to find UP to be the third poorest state on overall basis, but has lower percentage of population that is deprived in terms of possessing assets and bank accounts. They, however, don’t have any clear answers to the contradiction.
“This is true that the Niti Aayog’s poverty figures show UP to be the third most deprived state, but at the same time they put the state on the 19th and 21st position in deprivation in terms of assets and bank accounts,” an economist Ajit Kumar Singh said. “There may be certain reasons that need to be studied and analyzed,” he added.