Unlike in most of the remaining countries of the world, many government officials in India do not know the consequences of corruption. According to the latest estimates, around 5% of Indian population does not get a square meals a day. This is almost equivalent to the population of the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. Out of every rupee spent for welfare schemes only one and half paisa reaches the common man!. Even after 62 years of independence and after implementing ten five year plans, about 30 to 35% population still lives below the poverty line. About 70% of population depends on agriculture for livelihood.

The eleventh five year (2007-12) plan period too allocated several crores of rupees for rural development and other employment guarantee schemes.

Important infrastructural facilities like education, health, civic amenities, transportation, electricity, credit facilities, marketing, irrigation, etc do need investments for further improvement.

Farmers suicides, premature deaths, prostitution, child labour, bonded labour, separation and breaking up of families, school drop outs, crime, crowded cities and towns, migrations, growth of slums, indebtedness, smuggling, illegal trade, decline or lack of demand for certain types of goods and services due to low purchasing power, and other law and order problems are some of the consequences of poverty in India.

The economic reforms initiated in 1991 have been widening the gap between the rich and the poor.

Poverty line:

In India, poverty line is fixed by different organisations by using different criteria. For instance poverty line is based on either food intake measured in kilo calories or a certain fixed average amount of income per month and is variable for urban and rural areas. The planning commission of India has fixed below. Rs. 356 per month in rural areas and below Rs.539 per month in urban areas as average per capita spending. In other words, the people who do not get the above mentioned incomes are said to be living below the poverty line.

Obsolete technology and poverty:

The fragmented and small land holdings do not permit machinery to enhance production and productivity. When compared to the smaller neighbouring countries, the productivity levels for most of the crops is lesser in India. Lack of awareness among the farming community about the latest developments in science and technology too is responsible for such a state of affairs. Meagre incomes, lack of proper credit facilities, negligible saving rates, etc are some of the other reasons. Adding fuel to the problem, the indian agriculture still depends on monsoons. Land reforms, introducing the latest technology, developing irrigation facilities, creating better marketing facilities, creating awareness about the efficient use of latest technology, seeds, and fertilisers, etc would help improve the productivity in Indian agriculture.

External factors and poverty:

Lack of proper demand for the Indian agricultural products in international market is responsible for meagre incomes among the people of rural India. Quality is very high but the cost is very less for the primary products produced in some of the other competing nations. Research and other related scientific activities should contribute for the improvement of the quality of agricultural products of India. International trade agreements should also be logical and reasonable but not partial.

Instead of subsidies for fertilisers, seeds, electricity, food grains, and loan waiver schemes, the following steps will help better in improving the per capita income and thus the quality of life of the people living below the poverty line.

Curtailing population growth, effective implementation of land reforms, augmenting further the access to education and health, improving the agriculture infrastructure, creating better and income yielding employment avenues during agriculture lean season, etc could help the government in reducing the poverty levels.

Article Source: http://ezineseeker.com/?expert=Tirumala_Prasad

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