Poverty-Targeting Programs in India

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As noted, the central government has large expenditures that, given the

development status of the country and its poverty, could be related directly

or indirectly to poverty reduction. In particular, substantial sums of public

money are spent on broad targeting interventions, including expenditures on

social sectors and subsidies for other economic services, such as irrigation,

fertilizer, food and power. This important group of interventions is excluded

from the main discussion despite their quantitative importance so as to

enable a sharper focus on more narrowly defi ned, direct poverty-targeted

interventions. The focus of the existing literature on social expenditures

and subsidies in India is primarily their impact on public fi nances and their

effi ciency, both of which are less directly related to poverty reduction per se.

In addition, as outlined below, broad or activity-targeted interventions in

social sectors are constitutionally the responsibility of state governments,

with the result that specifi c interventions show considerable variation across

different states.