Oli’s claim that Province 2 is Nepal’s poorest is incorrect

Sujit Mainali / March 10, 2017

HDI values across districts, 2011                                             Source: Nepal Human Development Report,2014

CPN-UML Chairman and former prime minister KP Oli, while addressing a rally in Rajbiraj of Saptari district on March 6, said that the Madhesi-majority Province 2 is the poorest region of Nepal.

He said:

“[The fiscal budget brought by the CPN-UML-led government] has stated that 20,000 houses will be built and distributed in the tarai; it does not state that the houses will be distributed in the hills and mountains. Poverty is most severe here. That’s why we said the houses will be distributed here.”

The word ‘tarai’ used in his speech indicated Province 2.

South Asia Check has examined whether Province 2 is the poorest region of Nepal, as claimed by Oli, or not.

Of late, the Human Development Index (HDI) has become the most reliable instrument to measure poverty of any region. According to the UNDP, HDI is measured on the basis of average life expectancy at birth, education and gross national income per capita.

Here we examine whether the eight districts of Province 2 have lower HDI values than the rest 67 districts of Nepal or not. The eight districts in Province 2 are Siraha, Saptari, Mahottari, Bara, Parsa, Dhanusha, Sarlahi and Rautahat.

According to the “Nepal Human Development Report, 2014” jointly prepared by National Planning Commission and UNDP, Rautahat and Mahottari are among the 10 districts of Nepal with lowest HDI values (less than 0.4). Bajura, Bajhang, Kalikot, Humla, Achham, Jajarkot, Rolpa and Mugu are the other eight districts in this category.

Similarly, Sarlahi, Siraha, Dhanusha and Saptari are among the 19 districts with HDI values 0.4-0.449. Bara and Parsa are listed among the districts with comparatively higher HDI values (0.45-0.499). No districts of Province 2 are among the six and 13 districts with first and second highest HDI values.

In summary, we can say that the districts in the hills and mountains of the midwestern and farwestern Nepal have lower HDI values than the Province 2 districts.

Therefore, Oli’s claim that Province 2 is the poorest region of Nepal is incorrect.

Click here to learn about HDI value of Nepal in detail.


This material is copyrighted but may be used for any purpose by giving due credit to southasiacheck.org.