The NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India)’s latest report on Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) at the national, State/Union Territory and district level has given a thumbs up to Assam by stating that over 80 lakh people escaped poverty in the State in the last nine years.
NITI Aayog serves as the apex public policy think tank of the Government of India, and the nodal agency tasked with catalysing economic development, and fostering cooperative federalism.
The report highlights that 24.82 crore individuals have successfully escaped multidimensional poverty during this period in India. Statistics available for 2022–23 for 31 States and Union Territories point out that less than 15% of their population are now residing in multidimensional poverty. Assam has shown a significant decline with its poverty headcount ratio dropping from 36.97% in 2013–14 to 14.47% in 2022–23.
The MPI uses the Alkire-Foster methodology to assess the decline in poverty rates and covers 12 indicators — nutrition, child and adolescent mortality, maternal health, years of schooling, school attendance, cooking fuel, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, housing, assets, and bank accounts.
The report stated that Assam has pockets of poverty, and the State Government was working on various initiatives to address socio-economic issues. Its discussion paper titled ‘Multidimensional Poverty in India since 2005–06,’ attributes this remarkable achievement to the substantial initiatives undertaken by the Government, addressing various dimensions of poverty from 2013–14 to 2022–23. It stated that programmes such as Poshan Abhiyan, Ujjwala Yojna, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, and Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna played a pivotal role in reducing multidimensional poverty.
The report also points out that India is on track to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target 1.2, aiming to cut multidimensional poverty to half by 2030.
An elated Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma expressed his happiness at the findings stating that over 80 lakh people in the State have ‘escaped poverty’, contributing to what he termed ‘the most prosperous era in modern history’ for Assam.
Dr. Sarma on January 19, during his speech at the plenary session of the North Eastern Council (NEC) in Shillong expressed his gratitude to the Central Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking relentless measures for the socio-economic growth and development of the region.
Dr Sarma said that the region has embarked on a transformative journey owing to the continued focus it has received from the present Government at the Centre.
“The current phase of unprecedented positive developments on multiple fronts, including economic, in the State can largely be attributed to the climate of general peace that is prevailing for the past couple of years,” the Chief Minister said, while expressing confidence that the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) for the next financial year would register a significant growth over the current level. He referred to the measures the State Government has taken to improve Assam’s standing in the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) rankings.
The Chief Minister also highlighted the measures being undertaken by Assam to attain self-sufficiency on many fronts such as fish, egg and milk production.