New Delhi: Begging continues to be one of India's major social problems in India but the government on Monday admitted it has no data on the number of beggars in the country.

“There is no authentic data available on the prevalence and presence of beggars across the country. Poverty is one of the reasons for people indulging in beggary,” Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment D. Napoleon said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.

“The anti-beggary laws are prevalent in 20 states and two union territories. The central governments has requested state governments to effectively implement their existing laws or enact new laws  in case it is not in existence,” he said,

The minister also informed that central government has asked the state government to take appropriate measures to curb beggary and to develop a sound data base on it.