GANGTOK, March 25 � The poverty level in Sikkim has gone down with 80,000 people now living below poverty line, according to the new official estimates for 2009-2010 released by the Planning Commission.
While in 2004-2005, poverty level in Sikkim stood at 30.9 per cent with 1,70,000 people living under BPL, in the wake of the intense poverty alleviation programme initiated by the government, it has been significantly reduced in both urban and rural areas, official sources said.
The poverty levels in some other Northeastern States, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland, has increased in the period 2004-05 to 2009-10, the data reveals.
The poverty estimates have been calculated on methodology suggested by the Tendulkar Committee with estimates from NSS 66th round of consumer expenditure based on 2009-10 prices. In 2004, the level in rural area was 31.8 per cent with 1,50,000 people living Below Poverty Line.
While the BPL in urban areas was 25.9 per cent with 20,000 people living under BPL, this level has drastically reduced to five per cent in the urban areas with only 10,000 people now living below poverty line, the reports said.
In rural pockets, the level has fallen to 15.5 per cent with the BPL number standing at 70,000. The percentage of BPL in Sikkim is half the national average of 29.8 per cent, while the level of 15.5 per cent in rural areas is also half the national level of 33.8 per cent. The State urban level of five per cent of urban areas is one fourth of the National level of 20.9 per cent.
The national average for the Tendulkar poverty line has been worked out to Rs 672.80 per month per person for rural India and Rs 859.60 per month per person for urban areas. For Sikkim, this has been calculated to Rs 728.90 per person for rural areas and Rs 1035.20 per person per month for urban Sikkim. � PTI