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Poverty declining in India, but contention still over numbers

While it is difficult to calculate the exact number of poor people in India, it is common consensus that poverty in India is declining despite variance on the precise amount.

Photo by V Srinivasan / Unsplash

Poverty is a controversial issue in India, even though it affects a large portion of the country’s population. In India, poverty is primarily measured by a person’s income and consumption levels. If a person’s income level falls so far below their expenditure that they are unable to afford their basic needs, they are considered to be in poverty. This minimum level is calculated by the Government’s NITI Aayog based on data collected by the National Survey Office, and the people who fall below it are considered below the poverty line (BPL).

Contention arises when attempting to set this threshold for poverty. If the line was too low then it might leave out those who are in dire need of government assistance, and if set too high it could be terrible for the government’s fiscal health.

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