NEW DELHI: Two decades of economic reforms and drum beating about inclusive growth seem to have failed to change the face of rural India as 10 per cent of the population lives on less than Rs 17 a day.

According to a government survey released for 2011-12 on household consumer expenditure, “The poorest 10 per cent of India’s rural population had an average monthly per capita expenditure (MPCE) of Rs 503.49 per month.”

Their urban counterparts are only slightly better with daily per capita expenditure of Rs 23.40.

As per the National Sample Survey Organization’s (NSSO) 68th round of survey for the period of July 2011 to June 2012, “The poorest 10 per cent of the urban population had an average MPCE of Rs 702.26.”

The survey, which was conducted two decades after the economic reforms were launched in 1991, is aimed at measuring the living standards of people in the country.

This is in fact much lower than the poverty line of Rs 28.65 per capita daily consumption in cities and Rs 22.42 in rural areas fixed by the Planning Commission for 2009-11 as released in March this year.

In urban areas, it said, 70 per cent of the population lives on a daily expenditure of about Rs 43.16. Although the person belonging to the top 20 per cent of population consumes more than Rs 100 a day.

As regards the rural areas, the survey said, half of the population was living on a per capita daily expenditure of Rs 34.33.

“In rural areas, half of the population belongs to households with MPCE below Rs 1,030 and nearly 40 per cent of the rural population had MCPE of below Rs 922,” the survey said.

The provisional results of the NSS survey are based on sample of 59,070 households in 7,391 villages and 41,602 households in 5,223 urban blocks. -PTI