While the UPA government wants you to believe that the poverty line sank across the country during its tenure, in Puducherry, its behaviour was much like the Centre’s fluctuating blood pressure. From a high of 14.2 per cent in 2004-05, it dropped like a stone to 1.2 per cent in 2009-2010, but then shot up to 9.69 per cent in the next two years. As your family doctor would say, yo-yo BP is a warning sign that needs treatment.
The fluctuation has been most acute in the villages — from 0.2 per cent in 2009-10 to 17.06 per cent in 2011-12. Large scale migration from neighbouring states to Yanam and Puducherry has been a major reason for the rise in rural poverty rate. In urban areas, the rise in BPL population is 6.3 per cent. A total of 1.24 lakh people live below the poverty line, with 69,000 and 55,000 people in rural and urban areas respectively. The per capita expenditure per month is `2,309.92 in rural areas and `2,959.82 in urban areas.
However, Puducherry has the highest state poverty line in the country, estimated at `1,301 per capita per month for rural areas and `1,309 per capita per month for urban areas.
The national poverty line, on the other hand, is `816 per capita per month in rural areas and `1,000 per capita per month in urban areas.