While the BJP and BJD continued to spar over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks on Odisha’s poverty, the annual economic survey released on Saturday by the state government said about 82 lakh people had been lifted above the poverty line over eight years.
Referring to the BJP’s performance in the panchayat polls, Modi had said at an election rally in Gonda, “There is so much poverty in Odisha that if you search for the poorest districts in the country, you will find them in this state.”
The Odisha Economic Survey 2016-17 said poverty had declined by 24.61 percentage points (average annual decline of 3.52 percentage points) from 57.20 per cent in 2004-05 to 32.59 per cent in 2011-12, “the highest reduction among major states,” it said, adding that the country recorded 15 percentage points of poverty reduction during the same period. The report also projected a growth rate of 7.94% in 2016-17, up from 6.01% in 2015-16. The Survey also said demonetisation had slowed down the state’s economy, with a 7% decline in tax collections in December 2016 when compared to the previous month.