Editorial: Growth versus dole
As India's economic growth has risen, both the number of people below the poverty line as well as the proportion have fallen. And the pace at which this decline has taken place has risen with GDP growth picking up. Between FY94 and FY05, poverty levels declined by 0.74 percentage points (ppt) a year; this fell faster by 2.18 ppt between FY05 and FY12. But what happens if growth slows, more so in an environment of rising inflation? An estimate just out, from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), points to how 68.9% of India's population would fall below the poverty line were this to be raised from the current $1.25 level to $2 per capita per day—as ADB puts it, a large chunk of India's population is vulnerable to economic shocks that 'may drive them back into extreme poverty'.