Skip to main content

UPA miscalculation? World Bank says, 2011-12 Indian poverty was 12.4%, not 20.1%, blames methodology

By Our Representative
A World Bank policy paper, approved by its chief economist Kaushik Basu, has said that India has been over-estimating its poverty levels by adopting an old methodology. The paper says that a major reason why India miscalculated is because it did not include long-term nonfood consumption items in consumer expenditure in its calculation methodology.
Titled “Ending Extreme Poverty and Sharing Prosperity: Progress and Policies”, in a sub-section, “Why poverty in India could be even lower”, the paper suggests, a major “non-food” factor which may have contributed in reducing poverty in India is infrastructure development in remote areas, particularly rural electrification.
As a result, says the paper, which has been authored by Marcio Cruz, James Foster, Bryce Quillin and Philip Schellekens, the actual poverty in India should not be 21.1 per cent, as earlier calculated, but actually 12.4 per cent in 2011-12.
As the reference year for poverty is 2011-12, observers say, it is “safe to assume” that the paper refers to the success achieved by the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Electrification Mission, floated by the previous UPA government, in order to provide subsidized power to the poorer sections of the population across India.
Pointing out that targeted infrastructure development has helped reduce poverty, the paper says, “Rural electrification in India has caused changes in consumption and earnings, with increases in the labor supply of both men and women, and promoted girls’ schooling by reallocating their time to tasks more conducive to school attendance.”
Apart from rural electrification, the paper says, better railroads has helped, too: “Investment in integration and connectedness through railroads in India helped reduce the exposure of agricultural prices and real income to rainfall shocks, and helped diminish the famine and mortality risks associated with recurrent weather shocks.” 
Pointing towards what was wrong in the past methodology in poverty calculation, the paper says, “Poverty measures for India are based on the household expenditure surveys done as part of the National Sample Surveys (NSS). Since NSS began in the 1950s, it has used 30-day recall for consumption of both food and nonfood items to measure expenditures.”
“These so-called uniform reference period (URP) consumption aggregates collected in every consumption survey (except 1999/2000) provide the longest consistent series for measuring poverty in India”, the paper says, adding, even the World Bank used this methodology earlier. Under the UR-based consumption, India’s poverty would be 21.2 percent.
However, the NSS “introduced a new consumption series based on a modified mixed reference period (MMRP) in the 2009/10 survey. The MMRP series (which modified the 30-day recall to a 7-day recall for some food items and to a 1-year recall for low-frequency nonfood consumption items) was recommended as a more accurate reflection of consumption expenditures”, the paper says.
“As a result of the shorter recall period for food items, MMRP-based consumption expenditures in both rural and urban areas are 10–12 percent larger than URP-based aggregates. These higher expenditures, combined with a high population density around the poverty line, translates to a significantly lower poverty rate of 12.4 percent for 2011/12”, the paper underlines.

Comments

ALSO READ

India failing to dictate diplomatic preferences of Nepal, Bhutan, is unfairly blaming Beijing: Chinese daily

By Our Representative
In a sharply-worded editorial, a top Chinese media outfit, described by BBC as state-run, has said, commenting on India's foreign relations with its neighbours, that "speculation and suspicion" is "certainly not diplomacy". Published in "China Daily", the largest circulating English Monday-to-Saturday newspaper with branches across the world, the editorial notes (September 20) that "several recent events" in Nepal and Bhutan, are "gnawing worrywarts in New Delhi".
The editorial -- which comes close on the heels of a sharp critique of India's foreign policy in a state-supported Russian media outfit, Sputnik International, calling India's anti-Pak diplomacy as having "gone awry" following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "half-baked" push for anti-terror drill down "others' throat" -- says, the " worrywarts" include "Nepalese troops taking part in a joint…

Ahmedabad, GIFT, Adani city get 1.68 lakh acre ft Narmada water; Gujarat's rural areas just 4.27 AF: Letter to CM

Counterview Desk
Well-known farmer rights leader Sagar Rabari, in an open letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, has demanded a transparent account of Narmada water, saying, while he has received a "routine reply" from him to his earlier, the data emerging from his RTI application show huge quantity of water being directed to Ahmedabad, the 10 km stretch of Sabarmati for the Ahmedabad riverfront, and nearby elite urban areas, including the Adanis' Shantigram township and GIFT City.

Accused of being RSS plant, Modi man, Hyderabad Urdu varsity chancellor asks President to probe "irregularities"

Counterview Desk
Refused entry in the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), the central university's newly appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed, who claims to be grand nephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, has, in a letter to the President of India, said that MANUU vice-chancellor (V-C) Dr Aslam Parvaiz has accused him of being an RSS plant and a Modi man, whose sole aim is to "interfere in the working of the university".

17 lakh Jharkhand elderly, widows, differently abled do not receive pension: Public hearing told, aadhaar is a hurdle

By Our Representative
Hundreds of elderly, widows, single women and differently-abled persons from different districts of Jharkhand gathered near the Raj Bhavan in Ranchi for a public hearing organized by the Jharkhand Right to Food Campaign and Pension Parishad demanding the right to universal social security pensions ahead of World Elderly Day on October 1.

Ethnocide in Caribbean island filmed following award winning docufilm on Jamaica's anti-colonial Indian roots

International awards winner for Best Feature Documentary Linda Aïnouche for “Dreadlocks Story” (2014), which shows how Indians are entangled in the Jamaican society, and how Hinduism was a source of inspiration for the Rastafari movement, is all set to release her new documentary, “Marooned in the Caribbean”, which aims at documenting the awful desolating living conditions that Raizal people, the native inhabitants of San Andres Archipelago, endure.
Sons of slaves, these islanders have fallen prey to what the Colombian government calls Colombianization. “It’s a process”, according to her, “which kills the Raizal culture; it’s the killing of the Raizal soul. Colombianization subjugates Afro-descendants of San Andres to an ethnocide.”

Explorer, director and producer, Linda Aïnouche writes exclusively for Counterview: ***
Nobody escapes from blood and thunder in Colombia, and definitely not in the archipelago of San Andres, situated closer to Managua and Kingston than Bogota. The Raizal p…

India to deport Rohingya refugees, as the world moves towards prosecuting Myanmar for genocide

By Tapan Bose*
Seven Rohingya Muslims refugees who were held at a detention centre in Assam since 2012 will be handed over to Myanmar. The Supreme Court of India has refused to stop their deportation. The new Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gagoi said, "We are not inclined to interfere on the decision taken".

An elite Kutir set up by Modi far from the "madding" crowd: This Gandhi museum is formal, unapproachable

By Rajiv Shah
Have you ever heard of a Gandhi museum, sough to be projected as the “largest” on the Mahatma, yet totally inaccessible, in sharp contrast to Ahmedabad’s humble, approachable and unassuming Gandhi Ashram on the banks of Sabarmati, set up by the Mahatma during the heydays of the freedom movement? It exists about 30 kilometres away, its idea was conceived by none other than a person who has today become even more inaccessible than he ever was: Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister.

History less known: Kasturba's role as an independent woman and a freedom fighter in her own right

By Nandini Oza*
Even the most deserving of women do not find a place that equals their worth in history. Kasturba is one such woman whose contribution to India’s struggle for freedom has been exemplary, and yet, it has not received the recognition it deserves. Kastur Makhanji Kapadia was born in the year 1869, the same year and in the same town of Porbandar in Gujarat as Gandhiji. In fact she was older than Gandhiji by a few months.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

Poor response to tenders for Gujarat's bid for the world's tallest statue, no international firm shows interest

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government’s claim that its decision to build the world’s highest statue in the world, in the memory of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, would attract “tremendous” response top international construction companies, has gone phut. The state government floated international tenders in August to build the statue, which is slated to be 182-metres high. Despite the “international” character of the tenders and big claims, well-informed Sachivalaya sources close to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi say, “not one international firm has come up to offer to carry out the construction activity.”