Poverty declines sharply in Sikkim

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 09, 2014 09:55 hrs

New Delhi: The north-eastern state of Sikkim has performed creditably in implementation of poverty alleviation programmes with the proportion of people below the poverty line declining sharply to 8.19 percent in 2011-12 from 30.9 percent in 2004-05 -- showing a steep fall of 22 percentage points, government data showed.

"Sikkim has recorded the steepest fall in poverty level in the country from 2004-05 to 2011-12 on account of increase in per capita consumption and the proportion of the poor living below poverty line in the urban area of the state is lowest among all the states of the country," according to an official statement of the Sikkim government released here.

Referring to the Planning Commission data, the statement said, the number of people below poverty line in Sikkim has come down from 170,000 in 2004-05 to 80,000 in 2009-10 and and it declined further to 51,000 in 2011-12.

The proportion of the poor in the Himalayan state remains well below the national average of 21.9 percent.

The number of persons below poverty line has been reduced by one-fifth in the state and a sizeable population of 1,19,000 persons living below poverty line have been lifted out of poverty during the last seven years as a result of various developmental programmes launched by the state government.

"About 23,000 households have been brought above poverty line in the state during the seven-year period," the statement said.

Sikkim is ranked among the five best performing states in poverty reduction. The state with lowest proportion of people living below poverty line is Goa with 5.09 percent, followed by Kerala 7.05 percent and Himachal Pradesh 8.06 percent.

Sikkim is at the fourth position with the proportion of people living below poverty line at 8.19 percent, as per the latest Planning Commission data.

Around 9.85 percent of rural population and 3.66 percent of urban population of Sikkim lives below the poverty line as compared to the national average of 25.70 percent for rural and 13.7 percent for urban areas.

Sikkim has the lowest proportion of people below poverty line in urban areas, followed by Goa 4.09 percent, Haryana 4.33 percent and Kerala 4.97 percent.

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