India routinely grabs headlines for its rising number of billionaires and millionaires, but in stark contrast the population at the bottom of the economic ladder in villages survive on a mere Rs 17 a day, reveals the report of the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), released on Thursday.
According to the report, the situation in cities is no better, where the bottom five per cent of the poor population survives on Rs 23 a day. NSSO has released the data for 2011-13 (July-June), which states that five per cent of the population, consisting of the very poor, have an average monthly per capita expenditure (MPCE) of Rs 521.44 (Rs 17 a day) in rural areas and Rs 700.50 in urban areas (`23 a day).
The all-India average MPCE was about Rs 1,430 for rural India and Rs 2,630 for urban India.
For the average rural Indian, food accounted for 52.9% of the value of consumption in 2011-12.
This included 10.8% for cereals and cereal substitutes, 8% for milk and milk products, 7.9% on beverages, refreshments and processed food, and 6.6% on vegetables.
Among non-food item categories, fuel and light for household purposes (excluding transportation) accounted for 8%, clothing and footwear for 7%, medical expenses for 6.7%, education for 3.5%, conveyance for 4.2%, other consumer services (excluding conveyance) for 4%, and consumer durables for 4.5%.
For the average urban Indian, 42.6% of the value of consumption was accounted for by food, including 9% by beverages, refreshments and processed food, 7% by milk and milk products, and 6.7% by cereals and cereal substitutes. Education accounted for 6.9%, fuel and light for 6.7%, conveyance 6.5%, and clothing and footwear 6.4%.