从贫困到赋权

孟买—在即将迎来下个月的大选之际,印度颇有些值得庆贺的东西:极端贫困终于开始减少了。2012年——在政府实施了一系列旨在开放经济的经济改革二十年后——官方贫困率降至22%,比1994年的水平下降了一大半。但印度应该提高期望。摆脱赤贫虽然是重要的离成本,但决不可与实现体面生活水平、感到经济安全同日而语。在这方面,印度还有很多事情要做。

事实上,这项任务之艰巨从麦肯锡全球研究所(McKinsey Global Institute)的新报告《从贫困到赋权》(“From Poverty to Empowerment”)便可一窥端倪。该报告使用了一个创新性分析框架——“赋权线”来估算普通公民实现八大基本需要的成本。这八大基本需要是食物、能源、住房、饮用水、卫生、医疗、教育和社会保障。根据这一框架,2012年有56%的印度人“缺少获得基本需要的途径”。

值得注意的是,这一数字比仍生活在印度贫困线以下的人的数字高2.5倍。更令人惊讶的是“赋权缺口”——即让这6.8亿人达到赋权线所需要的消费增加量——比消除极端贫困的成本大七倍。

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