Kerala has the lowest poverty rate in the country with the latest NITI Aayog report stating that poverty rate in Kerala has further dropped to 0.55 per cent in 2019-21 from 0.70 per cent in 2015-16. The report states while there are no poor in Ernakulam district, 2.82 per cent of the population in Wayanad is poor.
As per the latest details with Kerala government, the poverty rate in Kerala was 0.70 percent of the total population in 2015-16 but it has come down to 0.55 percent in 2019-21. NITI Aayog has prepared the report based on 12 indicators such as health, education and standard of living. Earlier, when NITI Aayog released the report in 2021 in which the poverty rate was 0.70 per cent, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said the poverty rate was lowest in Kerala because of the government’s unwavering commitment to social welfare programmes.
He wrote in a tweet in November 2021, “As per @NITIAayog’s Multidimensional Poverty Index, Kerala has the lowest percentage of population who are poor, 0.71%. Our unwavering commitment towards social welfare is reflected in this achievement, which will be a huge boost to our efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.“
Political observers say that the latest report which further records a drop in poverty rate will be a major recognition for the LDF government.
According to the report, the health sector indicators are nutritional availability, maternal and child mortality rates, and maternal health. While the education sector measures average years of schooling and school attendance, the standard of life is assessed based on cooking fuel, drinking water, sanitation, housing, electricity, assets and bank accounts.
“It will be a major morale booster for the government which has been implementing a new project to achieve the declared goal of eradicating extreme poverty in five years,” said a senior government officer.
As per an official statement, land reforms, education, health, pension schemes, decentralised planning, public distribution system, Kudumbashree and Nava Kerala mission had played an effective role in reducing the level of poverty in the rural and urban areas with help of local self-government bodies.