Friday, January 29, 2010

UN Report Puts Critique of ‘Garibi Hatao’

A new United Nation report says that ‘targeting’ poor for poverty reduction is often expensive and politically unstable.

India aggressively followed the ‘Garibi Hatao’ (Eradicate Poverty) policy during Indira Gandhi’s second government. This policy was based on notion of targeting poor as way of eradicating poverty.

Noted scholar Jayanti Ghosh says Below Poverty Line (BPL) cards too part of ‘targeting poor’ approach. It’s not suitable.

The study named, “Report on World Social Situation 2010: Rethinking Poverty”, there are 1.4 billion people living in poverty around the world. This estimates come on the basis of World Bank’s $1.25 a day international poverty line.

Putting heart breaking figures, the report said absolute number of people living under poverty in South Asia increased from 548.9 million to 595.6 million between 1981 and 2005.

However poverty is decline from 59 percent of population in 1981 to 40 percent in 2005 in relative term.

In Indian case, the percentage of poor people declined from 59.8 percent in 1981 to 41.6 percent.

Further focusing on urban and rural India, the report said that rural poverty down from 62.5 percent in 1981 to 43.8 percent in 2005 and urban poverty down from 51 percent (1981) to 36.2 percent (2005).

The figure also gave a significant indication that opening of economy in 1991 helped rural poor more than urban poor.

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