Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir): A recent report by NITI Aayog has highlighted a remarkable decline in poverty in Jammu and Kashmir, with the percentage of individuals living below the poverty line dropping to 2.81 percent in the year 2022-2023. The report, titled 'Multidimensional Poverty in India since 2005-06,' was released this week, revealing significant progress in the region's poverty alleviation efforts.
According to the report, in 2005-2006, the poverty rate in Jammu and Kashmir stood at a staggering 40.45 percent, which has now seen a drastic reduction to 2.81 percent. The report also indicates a positive trend over the past 19 years, with the percentage decreasing from 12.56 percent in 2015-2016 to 4.80 percent in 2019-2021 in particular.
The report said that the improvements in the quality of life have been substantial for those whose poverty rates have dropped significantly, from over 50 percent to 11.28 percent. It predicts that by 2024, India is expected to experience single-digit poverty, further contributing to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.
Uttar Pradesh topped the list of states recording maximum decline in poverty with 5.94 crore people escaping poverty, followed by Bihar at 3.77 crore and Madhya Pradesh at 2.30 crore. However, the report specifically commends the efforts of Jammu and Kashmir in reducing multidimensional poverty. The Rural Development Department is said to have played a crucial role in this achievement, implementing targeted interventions, focusing on health and education, and ensuring district-wise progress.
The Rural Headcount Ratio decreased from 16.37 percent to 6.10 percent, indicating positive trends in both rural and urban areas. District-wise analysis revealed notable progress in Doda, Ramban, Rajouri, and Poonch district, with significant reductions in the Headcount Ratio. The report suggests that the district-wise shift reflects advancements in poverty reduction efforts.
Dr. Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Commissioner Secretary, Rural Development Department, told ETV Bharat that the department's interventions have been instrumental in reducing multidimensional poverty in rural areas. The Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) scores for Jammu and Kashmir have seen significant improvement, with the Headcount Ratio declining from 12.56 percent to 4.80 percent.
Dr. Shahid highlighted that the targeted interventions, including programs such as MGNREGA, JKRLM (Umeed), SBM G, PMAY G, and IWMP, have led to a decline in the Rural Headcount Ratio. Additionally, measures for waste management have been implemented, addressing issues related to plastic waste, greywater, solid waste, and other waste types, he said.
Looking forward, Dr. Shahid expressed optimism about Jammu and Kashmir's prospects, stating that the targeted interventions and improvements in health, education, and standard of living indicators bode well for the region. He emphasized the need for sustained efforts in sustainable development, infrastructure, financial inclusion, skill development, healthcare services, community participation, tourism, and social welfare programs to ensure continued progress in poverty reduction.