After pandemic, poverty kept falling every quarter from July-Sept 2020'
Contrary To widespread claims of a large rise in poverty in both rural and urban India post the Covid-19 pandemic, a new paper authored by former Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya and Vishal More, founder of New Delhi-based research and consulting organization Interlink Advisors, has said that rural poverty declined continuously every quarter beginning July-September 2020.
According to the paper, it is only during the strict lockdown period of April-June 2020 that rural poverty saw a "modest rise". But it fell for the full year 2019-20, even if at a significantly lower rate. It witnessed a sharp decline in 2020-21 as in the pre-Covid year of 2018-19.
"These results are consistent with the robust performance of agriculture in 2019-20 and 2020-21, significant expansion of NREGA and free distribution of 5kg food grain per person per month on top of the same amount sold at highly subsidized prices under the Food Security Act," the authors noted in their paper titled "Poverty and Inequality in India: Before and After Covid-19".