The poverty ratio in the country has fallen steeply during the UPA regime to 21.9 per cent in 2012 from 37.2 per cent in 2004, said the UPA Government’s Report Card released by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today.

“Under the UPA government, poverty in India has declined in an unprecedented manner. Average decline in poverty was 2 per cent per annum during 2004-2012, almost twice the rate of the preceding decade,” said the report card.

It said the number of poor people came down to 26.93 crore, which was 21.9 per cent of the total population in 2012, from 40.71 crore in 2004 when the UPA government came to power.

According to the report card, the Government launched 16 flagship programmes in both rural and urban areas during the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-12), and fund allocation for them has been more than double for the 12th Five Year Plan period which began from April 2012.

The report highlights that the expenditure on flagship programme like rural employment guarantee scheme has been increased by more than 100 per cent for the 12th Plan.

The document stated that the Plan outlay for flagship schemes was increased to Rs 15,46,648 crore for the entire 12th Five Year Plan compared to Rs 6,93,347 crore spent in the 11th Plan.

The report said, “Unemployment rate in the country is steadily declining due to UPA government’s economic policies.”

As per the report, the rate of unemployment came down to 5.6 per cent in 2012 from 8.2 per cent in the 2004.

Besides, it also stated that average industrial growth during the 2004-05 to 2011-12 period has been the highest ever at 8.5 per cent per annum, creating productive employment for young people.

“National Skills Development Authority has been working with other stakeholders, including the private sector, to train 50 million people for the workforce during the next five years,” it added.