29.5% Indians, Pakistanis living below poverty line


The poverty levels in both Pakistan and India are now resting at an identical yet alarming 29.5 percent level, meaning thereby that every third Pakistani and Indian is literally starving.

Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar while unveiling the economy survey the other day said that 29.5 percent of Pakistan’s total population was living below the poverty line.

Similarly, the August 3, 2015, report of the ‘CNN’ had quoted Indian Planning Commission’s estimates that 363 million citizens of world’s largest democracy, making up 29.5 percent of the total population, were living below the subsistence levels.

On August 3, 2015, a ‘CNN’ report had stated: “India’s latest Socioeconomic and Caste Census paints a stark picture of widespread rural poverty and deprivation. Of the 300 million households surveyed, an overwhelming majority (73 per cent) live in villages. Of this rural population, less than five percent earn enough to pay taxes, only 2.5 percent own a 4-wheeler vehicle and less than 10 percent have salaried jobs.”

According to United Nation’s Millennium Development Goal Programme, over 270 million or 21.9 per cent people, out of 1.2 billion of Indians, were living below poverty line of $1.25 in 2011-2012.

In Pakistan, it is still not clear how the government has accurately calculated the national poverty level in the absence of a fresh census.  More than a million Indians are millionaires, yet most of their compatriots live on less than two dollars a day.

India was ranked fifth in the Knight Frank’s Wealth Report 2013 with the highest net-worth individuals. As of December 2013, India had 122 billionaires with net assets worth Indian rupees five billion and above.