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A quarter of India’s urban population lives below the poverty line and are poor, the Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Kumari Selja said Wednesday.

Orissa has the highest percentage of urban poor in the country, she added.Quoting the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) for the year 2004-05, Selja informed the Rajya Sabha that 807.96 lakh people – which comprise 25.7 percent of the urban population of the country – were poor.In Orissa, 44.30 percent of the population live below the poverty line.

Further, it was informed that a new scheme, ‘Rajiv Awas Yojana’ (RAW) was launched June 2, 2011 to create a slum-free India. The first phase of the programme is for a period of two years with a budget of Rs.5,000 crore.

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