- The World Bank report titled “Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2022: Correcting Course” revealed that the world is unlikely to meet the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1 of limiting extreme poverty to 3 per cent of the global population by 2030.
- Global poverty reduction has been slowing down since 2015 but the Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine have completely reversed the outcomes.
- This has resulted in shutting businesses, losing jobs and falling incomes, forcing economies into a deep recession.
- Further, Climate Emergency and frequent disasters have resulted in loss of assets and income pushing many into chronic poverty.
- Globally, in 2020 alone, the number of people living below the extreme poverty line rose by over 70 million
- Global inequality rose, for the first time in decades as the poorest people bore the steepest costs of the pandemic. Income losses averaged 4% for the poorest 40%.
- Extreme poverty in India dropped to 10.2% in the pre-Covid year of 2019 from as much as 22.5% in 2011.
- In India Extreme poverty was as low as 0.8 per cent in 2019, and food transfers were instrumental in ensuring that it remained at that level in the pandemic year of 2020.
- Poverty reduction was higher in rural areas as compared to urban India. Rural poverty dropped by 14.7 percent while urban poverty declined by 7.9 percentage points during 2011 to 2019.
- Further, Farmers with small landholding sizes have experienced higher income growth in comparison to farmers with the largest landholding.
- The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana is a comprehensive relief package of Rs 1.70 Lakh Crore Yojana for the poor to help them fight the battle against Corona Virus. The scheme aimed at providing each person who is covered under the National Food Security Act 2013 with an additional 5 kg grains, increase in MNREGA wages, etc.
- Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana provides life coverage to the poor and low-income section of the society with a maximum assured amount of Rs.2 lakhs.
- Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan Yojana aims to provide old age protection and social security for Unorganized Workers in the country.
- PM SVanidhi aims to provide micro credit facilities to street vendors affected due to the pandemic.
- The World Bank report identifies three priorities for fiscal policy for governments to aid with post-pandemic recovery. They are as follows,
- Targeted subsidies that benefit the poor
- Public investment to build resilience in the long term;
- Revenue mobilization is based on progressive direct taxation rather than indirect taxes.