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Report indicates growing poverty in some regions

The latest report of IDFC Foundation "India Rural Development Report 2012-13" which was released recently in New Delhi, Â said that though overall poverty in India is reducing, it is increasingly becoming concentrated within certain regions and &

"In 1993-94, nearly 50 percent of the rural poor lived in seven states - Jharkhand, Bihar, Assam, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. This rose to 65 percent in 2011-12," the report said. Only 18 percent of rural households have access to all three basic services - drinking water within the premises, sanitation and  electricity - while 20 percent have none of these, it said. While releasing the  report Rural Development Minister JairamRamesh said, "The  story has not been positive in terms of social infrastructure like sanitation  and  drinking water." Poverty is markedly higher among the  Scheduled Castes and the  Scheduled Tribes who  together constituted 44 percent of the  rural poor  in 2009-10. The  report highlighted the  need to develop new strategies for farm  livelihoods.

The report said that to enhance non-farm income, the MNREGA   has become more important. The scheme holds huge potential, which can be unlocked by ensuring that good quality assets are  built. Ramesh said, " To  make more durable community assets, the government will shortly announce changes in the  MNREGA. Rajeev Lall, Executive Chairman, IDFC said, "While rural consumption and  aspirations are  rising, we can  no longer fail to provide our rural population basic services and  opportunities  to enhance their livelihoods.

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