Friday, Mar 21, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
The share of food in total expenditure stood at 56 per cent in rural areas and 44 per cent in urban areas as compared to 64 per cent in rural areas and 56 per cent in urban areas during NSS 43rd round for 1987-88.
According to the survey, at the all India level, the proportion of chronically hungry households (not getting enough to eat during even some months of the year) was less than one per cent for rural areas and less than 0.5 per cent for urban areas. As for seasonal hunger, 19 per 1,000 households in rural areas and four per 1,000 households in urban areas reported getting enough food only in some months of the year.
The survey found that in terms of consumer expenditure, about 75 per cent of the Indian population lived in rural areas and 25 per cent in urban areas. There were 942 females per 1,000 males in rural areas and 908 females per 1,000 males in urban areas. The all India average monthly per capita consumer expenditure (MPCE) was Rs. 495 and Rs. 914 for rural and urban areas respectively. Thus, the average MPCE for urban areas at the all India level was 85 per cent higher than that in rural areas.
The average MPCE in rural areas had increased by 2 per cent (Rs. 9) from the previous year and in urban areas by 7 per cent (Rs. 60). For rural India, the average MPCE of Rs. 495 comprised Rs. 279 for food and Rs. 216 for non-food. Food expenditure included Rs. 100 for cereals and cereal substitutes and Rs. 90 for milk, milk products, vegetables and edible oil. Non-food expenditure included Rs. 41 for fuel and light, and Rs. 41 for clothing and footwear.
For the urban sector, the average MPCE of Rs. 914 comprised Rs. 400 for food and Rs. 514 for non-food. Of food expenditure, only Rs. 102 went towards cereals and cereal substitutes while Rs. 143 was spent on milk, milk products, vegetables and edible oil, and Rs. 58 on beverages, refreshments and processed food, Rs. 77 was spent per person per month on fuel and light and Rs. 69 on clothing and footwear.
At the all India level, the share of cereals and cereal substitutes in total consumption expenditure was 20 per cent in rural India and 11 per cent in urban India.
The survey results on other living conditions show that the percentage of households living in dwelling units owned by them was 93 per cent in rural India and only about 61 per cent in urban areas, while 34 per cent lived in rented dwelling units in urban areas. There was an increase of around 3 per cent in the proportion of urban households using LPG for cooking over the previous year. The percentage of urban households, depending on firewood and chips for cooking, came down by one per cent whereas the same for rural areas remained more or less stable.
About 99 per cent of the households were dependent on kerosene and electricity for their lighting purposes in rural and urban India. At the all India level, the percentage of households using electricity was 91 per cent in urban areas and 51 per cent in rural areas; the remaining households were mostly users of kerosene. As for the employment situation, the survey found that over two-fifths of the population (42 per cent) in rural areas, and more than one-third (35 per cent) in urban areas, were in the employed category as per their usual status (PS+SS, that is, if principal and subsidiary status workers are taken together).
The worker population ratio (WPR) according to the usual status (PS+SS) differed between males and females in rural and urban areas. In rural areas, the rates were 54 per cent and 29 per cent for males and females respectively. In urban areas, the corresponding rates are 53 per cent 14 per cent. Both for males and females, the unemployment rates were appreciably higher in urban areas than in rural areas.
In rural India, according to the usual status (PS+SS), about 69 per cent of the male workers and 82 per cent of the female workers were engaged in agricultural activities. In urban India, about 58 per cent of the male workers and about 48 per cent of the female workers were engaged in the tertiary sector activities as per the usual status.
The proportion of usually employed (PS+SS) who reported themselves as not employed (that is, unemployed or out of labour force) as per current weekly status was higher for females than for males. For females, it was 25 per cent in rural areas and 18 per cent in urban areas.
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