Indian agri household has avg outstanding loan of Rs 47k

An Indian agricultural household on an average has an outstanding loan of Rs 47,000 while their monthly income is a meagre Rs 6,426, according to latest official data.

Kerala has the highest outstanding loan amount at Rs 2.13 lakh per agricultural household. At third position, Punjab with an average outstanding loan of Rs 1.19 is the only state outside south that has found space in top six.

The average outstanding loan of an agricultural household in Andhra Pradesh is Rs 1.23 lakh while Tamil Nadu has Rs 1.15 lakh, Karnataka 97,200 and Telangana Rs 93,500, according to the 70th National Sample Survey.

Around 52 percent of agricultural households in rural India were estimated to be indebted at the time of the survey, said the survey ‘Income, Expenditure, Productive Assets and Indebtedness of Agricultural Households in India’ done in 2013 and released last Thursday. Loans included all kind of outstanding loans irrespective of the purpose for which loans were taken.

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Average outstanding loan for an Indian Household Rs 47,000

Kerala — Rs 2,13,600

Andhra Pradesh — Rs 1,23,400

Punjab — Rs 1,19,500

Tamil Nadu — Rs 1,15,900

Karnataka — Rs 97,200

Telangana — Rs 93,500

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The survey said 77.7 per cent of agricultural households in Kerala had outstanding loans. Among agricultural households with less than 0.01 hectares land, the largest amount of outstanding was reported by agricultural households in Andhra Pradesh (Rs 2.40 lakh) followed by Rajasthan (Rs 1.694 lakh) and Kerala (Rs 1.69 lakh).

The survey also showed that around 60 per cent of the outstanding loans were taken from institutional sources, which included co-operative society (14.8 percent) and banks (42.9 percent). Among non-institutional sources, money lenders (25.8 percent) had the major share in terms of outstanding loans.

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Source of Loans

Government — 2.1 per cent

Cooperative Society — 14.8 per cent

Banks — 42.9 per cent

Employer/Landlord — 0.8 per cent

Money lender — 25.8 per cent

Shopkeeper/Trader — 2.9 per cent

Relatives/Friends — 9.1 per cent

Others — 1.6 per cent

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One of the concerns would be the poor rate of banks in giving loans to farmers with land less than 0.01 hectares. According to the survey, 63.7 per cent of such agricultural households had outstanding loans to money lenders while it was 12.9 per cent for the banks.

The latest ‘Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India’ report by National Crime Records Bureau had shown that 5,650 farmers, including 472 women, committed suicide in 2014 out of which 1,163 cases were related to repaying loan. Most of the suicides related to inability to repay crop loans while others related to settling dues regarding purchase of tractors and other equipment.

Kerala had the highest share of institutional loans (90 per cent) among the major States followed by Gujarat (79.2 per cent) and Maharashtra (76.5 percent). Jharkhand reported the lowest share of institutional sources in the total outstanding loans, with 28 percent followed by Bihar (28.9 per cent) and Telangana (34.5 per cent).

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Jun 19, 2016)

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