There is a substantial decline in the poverty ratio in India from about55 per cent in 1973 to 36 per cent in 1993. This ratio has further come down to about 26 per cent in 2000. Although the poverty ratio during 1973-93 declined but the number of poor remained stable at around 320 million during this period of two decades. It may also be noted that poverty ratio always remained higher in rural areas compared to urban areas.