The experts were speaking at a two-day conference on chronic poverty and development policy in India organised by the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA). There are about 260 million people below poverty line in India, said PL Sanjeev Reddy, director IIPA stressing, reduction of poverty is critical for the attainment of national and international goals.
Speaking at the conference, Arun Bhatnagar, secretary, personnel, public grievances and pensions said though poverty had declined, the benefits of economic growth had not trickled down to the chronic poor. Business has little interest in them as producers or consumers and government services often fail to provide them with social services or poverty reduction grants and doles, he added.
Noted economist MS Swaminathan spoke on the importance of gene banks and grain banks in reducing poverty. He also underlined the need for technological transformation of productivity, profitiability, role of markets and sustainability.
Prof Asha Kapur Mehta of the IIPA stressed that families from scheduled caste and scheduled tribes were particularly likely to suffer life long deprivation. Not all chronically poor people are born into poverty. Many slide into poverty through personal crisis, she said.