Measurement of Poverty and Inequality in Sivagangai District of Tamil Nadu
his paper analyses the nature, causes and measures of poverty and inequality in Sivagangai district of Tamil Nadu. It also examines the empirical relationship between economic inequality and poverty. There are concerns that regional inequality in India has increased after the economic reforms of 1991. This concern is supported by various statistical analyses. In this paper, it shows that the conclusions are sensitive to what measures of attainment are used. In particular, human development indices do not show the same increase in regional inequality. Furthermore, looking at consumption and credit indicators for regions disaggregated below the state level also suggests that inequality trends may not be as bad as suggested by State Domestic Product data, although the
greater strength of the economies of the western and southern states emerges in our results. There has been visible change but some failures in the processes and outcomes in the post-reform period. Poverty declined faster in the second half of 2000s as compared to that of 1990s. Inequality increased considerably in rural areas. Among other things, creation of productive employment is crucial for reduction in poverty and inequality. New generation wants equality of opportunity rather than just rights based approach. India aspiring to be a global power should invest in human capital and improve human development.
The present study is confined to Sivagangai District in Tamil Nadu. Since, this district has been identified as one of the most backward districts in Tamil Nadu. The extent of Income Inequality based on Chi - Square test, Coefficient of Variation, Inter Quintile Ratio, Quintile Ratio, Relative Mean Deviation and Variance of Logarithms. Lorenz curve, Gini ratio, standard deviation, Head Count Ratio, Income Gap Ratio, Gini Ratio, Sen’s Poverty Index, Atkinson measure. The analysis shows that the incidence and intensity of poverty and inequality was more in households in Sivagangai District of Tamil Nadu. The coefficient of variation does not show any tendency to fall over the year. What is particularly worrisome is that the coefficient of variation of the rural head count ratio seems to be rising over time, indicating greater dispersion in rural poverty in the study area. There is also a clear consensus that government policies need to target inequality, with a particular emphasis on ensuring that the poor have better access to vital economic assets such as land, human capital (education and health), finance, and natural capital. This highlights the need for policy changes relating to human resource development, small farm programmes, agrarian reforms and rural works It is suggested that all efforts are needed to integrate the informal activities in urban areas, providing space and facilities for such activities as well as efforts to upgrade the productivity in the informal sector.
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