Rising Trend In Poverty

9 February 2015
Kashmir Reader

Srinagar: The Planning Commission that has painted a grim picture of Jammu and Kashmir's development and prosperity. According to the Commission, the Kashmir region has 2.13 lakh households living below the poverty line. Out of these, more than 1.89 lakh are in rural areas. The Jammu region has an estimated 1.92 lakh households Below the Poverty Line, with 1.72 lakh of them in the rural areas. The Ladakh region has 28.07 per cent rural households in the BPL category, while the figure for urban areas is 8.36. The highest number of BPL households in the state has been recorded in north Kashmir's Kupwara area, with a figure of 0.409 lakh households. The Jammu district stands at number two, with 0.375 lakh BLP households, Baramulla is at three with 0.362 lakh, while in the Samba district, the number is 0.078 lakh. Data emerging from almost all states across India allude to marked poverty decline over the years, but Jammu and Kashmir is among the only two states with upward poverty trends in 2011-12, compared to 2009-10. The latest Planning Commission data show that Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh are the only two states along with the Union Territories of Chandigarh, Pondicherry, Andaman and Nicobar (A&N) Islands and Dadar and Nagar Haveli, which continue to show poor performance in poverty alleviation schemes. The poverty rate in the J and K rose from 9.4 per cent in 2009-10 to 10.35 per cent in 2011-12, mainly due to an increase in those living below the poverty line in rural areas - 8.1 per cent to 11.5 per cent. The state's own figures also indicate that about one-fifth of the population in J&K comes under the BPL category, with about 98 per cent of it living in rural areas. Had the 'development' bulldozer, which won its mandate on a campaign of death and destruction, mostly among the poor, not broken down on its way, this figure could have dropped down to zero by revisiting how the once-famous gharibi hatao slogan had been turned into gharibon ko hatao.