The number of Indians living below the official poverty line has dropped by 34 percent between a census carried out in 2004-05 and another in 2011-12, a news report quoted government data as saying.
According to the latest survey by India's Planning Commission, "the number of persons living below the poverty line in the country has declined from 40.74 crore [407.4 million] in 2004-05 to 27 crore [270 million] in 2011-12," junior Minister for Planning Rajeev Shukla told parliament, state-run Doordarshan television reported on Wednesday.
The commission set the official poverty line in 2004-05 at a monthly per capita spending rate of 447 rupees (about $7.14) for rural areas and 579 ($9.25) rupees for urban areas. In 2011-2012 it was 816 rupees ($13.04) for rural areas and 1,000 rupees ( $15.98) in urban areas.
According to the latest data, the largest number of the poor lived in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.