Gangtok: Sikkim has recorded steepest fall in poverty level in the country on account of increase in per capita consumption and the proportion of the poor living below poverty line in the urban area is lowest among all states.
Latest data released by the Planning Commission says that in Sikkim, the proportion of people below the poverty line (BPL) came down from 30.9 per cent in 2004-05 to 8.19 per cent in 2011-12, a decline of 22 per cent due to inclusive and equitable development of the entire state, an official release said.
The number of people living below poverty line in Sikkim has come down from 1.70 lakh in 2004-05 to 51,000 in 2011-12 and the proportion of the poor in the Himalayan state remains well below the national average.
According to Planning Commission, Sikkim has been ranked among the five best performing states in poverty reduction in the country. States with the least proportion of poor living below poverty line are Goa (5.09 per cent), Kerala (7.05 per cent), Himachal Pradesh (8.06 per cent), Sikkim (8.19 per cent), Punjab (8.26 per cent) and Andhra Pradesh (9.20 per cent).
The average monthly per capital expenditure in rural and urban areas of Sikkim has been estimated at Rs 1445.06 and Rs 2528.11 in comparison to national average monthly per capital expenditure of Rs 1287.17 and Rs 2477.02 in rural and urban areas respectively, the release said.
Around 9.85 per cent of rural population and 3.66 per cent of urban population of the Sikkim lives below poverty line in comparison to national average of 25.70 per cent rural population and 13.70 per cent urban population living below poverty line, according to latest planning commission data.
Sikkim has the lowest 3.66 per cent urban population living below poverty line which is minimum among all states and is followed by Goa (4.09 per cent), Haryana (4.33 per cent) and Kerala (4.97 per cent).
In rural poverty, the 9.85 per cent population of Sikkim is living below poverty line and the state is ranked with the five top states Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Punjab in terms of reduction in rural poverty.
Among the North-eastern states, Sikkim has been ranked as top in poverty reduction.