Amid the euphoria of India growing at 9 per cent a year it may appear strange that nearly 19 per cent of the Indian rural households live on less than Rs 365 a month , spending less than Rs 12 on the consumption of each person per day.
The National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) said the average monthly per capita consumer expenditure (average MPCE) in 2005-06 was Rs 625 in rural India and Rs 1171 in urban India at 2005-06 prices.
''Out of every rupee spent in 2005-06 by the average rural Indian on consumption, 53 paise was spent on food. Of this, 17 paise was spent on cereals and cereal substitutes, 8 paise on milk and milk products, 6 paise on vegetables, 5 paise on sugar, salt and spices, and 4 paise on beverages, refreshments, processed food and purchased meals,'' said NSSO in its report on ''Household Consumer Expenditure in India 2005-06.'' ''Of every rupee spent by the average urban Indian on consumption, 40 paise was spent on food. Of this, 9 paise was spent on cereals and cereal substitutes, 7 paise on milk and milk products, 6 paise on beverages, refreshments and processed food, and 4 paise on vegetables,'' the report said.
Value of average food consumption per person in urban areas was within a range of Rs 451-Rs 500 per month in 7 out of 17 major States. In respect of rural food consumption, 13 major states belonged to the range Rs.251-400.
Average quantity of cereals consumed per person per month in 2005-06 was 11.9 kg in rural areas and 9.8 kg in urban areas.
About 19 per cent of rural households lived in katcha structures (both roof and walls made of katcha materials). About 50 per cent lived in pucca structures (both roof and walls made of pucca materials). The remaining 31 per cent of rural households lived in semi-pucca structures, that is, structures of which either the roof or the walls (but not both) were made of pucca materials. In urban India, the percentage of households using LPG as the major fuel for cooking was in the range of 40-75 per cent in all the major States. In rural India, 74 per cent of households continued to depend on firewood and chips as their major cooking fuel. About 9 per cent used dung cake and another 9 per cent used LPG.
About 56 per cent of households in rural India used electricity for lighting while 42 per cent used kerosene. Kerala tops the Indian states with per capita monthly consumption of Rs 1056 in rurtal areas and Rs 1566 in urban areas. It is followed by Punjab with marginally low consumption at Rs 1010 and Rs 1520 for rural and urban areas respectively.
The All India average for rural areas is Rs 625 a month and Rs 1171 per month for urban areas. The field work of the survey was carried out during July 2005- June 2006. Data collected included commodity-specific information on 148 items of food, 13 items of fuel, 28 items of clothing, bedding and footwear, 18 items of educational and medical expenses, 52 items of durable goods, and about 85 other items. The report contains the information on distribution of households and persons by 12 classes of household monthly per capita consumer expenditure (MPCE), average MPCE , composition of MPCE by item category (cereals, pulses, clothing, etc), quantity and value of per capita consumption of different cereals, distributions of households or persons by other characteristics such as educational level, structure and area of dwelling unit, and energy sources used for cooking and lighting etc.
The survey was spread over a randomly drawn sample of 39436 households spread over 4750 villages and 5120 urban blocks,