The main causes of poverty in India are as follows:
(i) Slow economic growth rate: Economic growth rate during plan period was only 4.1 % whereas, population growth rate was around 1.9 % per annum. So, real per capita income increased by 1.7 % per annum. As a result, purchasing power of the people declined.
(ii) Increase in population : In India, population is increasing continuously. As a result, despite higher rate of increase in national income, per capita income is not increasing to a desired level.
(iii) Increase in unemployment: Poverty increases with the increase in unemployment. Despite best efforts made by government of India during five year plans, unemployment increased continuously.
(iv) Backwardness of Indian agriculture : Indian agriculture is backward. So, agriculture productivity in India is lower in comparison to rich countries. As a result, most of the Indian people are living below poverty line.