ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Meenakshi RajeevSubscribe to Meenakshi Rajeev

Are Gold Loans Glittering for Agriculture?

Credit is essential for small and marginal farmers in India, whose low incomes limit savings, making them more vulnerable to several risks. Priority sector lending norms have channelled more formal credit to this sector. The interest subvention scheme for short-term crop loans makes formal credit more economical for farmers. However, there are issues of accessibility, most notably arising out of difficulties in presenting documentation, giving rise to a prevalence in the use of gold/jewellery as collateral. Loan data from three districts in Karnataka has highlighted some important lessons. The use of gold tends to exclude poorer farmers from availing all the benefits of the scheme, and poses issues of accessibility to formal credit. Digitisation of land records and farmer information, coupled with reduced recognition of gold loans in priority sector lending can be valuable to the Indian agriculture sector.

Credibility of Equal Access to Credit: Does Gender Matter?

This article examines the National Sample Survey Organisation unit record data pertaining to debt and investment (59th round) and highlights inequality in access to credit by certain segments of society. In particular, it shows that weaker sections such as female-headed households have a much lower access than their male counterpart even when they are involved in similar economic activities and consequently face significantly higher rates of interest.

A Critical Analysis of the RIDF

This article critically examines the use of the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund by different states and finds that a number of aspects need to be improved to ensure proper utilisation and to reduce intra-rural disparity in India.

Banking on 'Baniyas' for Credit

Marginal farmers in rural West Bengal, as seen from a field survey carried out in the Hooghly district, are increasingly relying on the trader class as a major source of credit for working capital, as opposed to traditional moneylenders or the formal sector. The repayment rates by these farmers are also better than that of the comparatively better off farmers.

Contract Labour in Karnataka

In order to effectively compete in a global market the industrial sector demands flexibility. To circumvent rigidities imposed by labour laws, the new form of employment that is being created in the economy is largely contractual. Based on a field survey, this paper looks at the status of contract labour in the state of Karnataka. The study finds that while a number of large firms pay wages above the minimum wage fixed by the state and support an increase in the minimum wage levels, a considerable number of small firms exploit the contract workers in various ways, including through non-payment of minimum wages. The study finds an urgent need to improve the social security network and supervisory mechanism for contract labour in the state.

Estimation of District Income and Poverty in Indian States

For the preparation of statewise Human Development Reports (HDR), difficult issues related to income and poverty estimates at the district level first need to be sorted out. While norms for national accounts and macro data systems are set by the Planning Commission, the need for information based on local understanding has gained further urgency with the setting up of District Planning Committees in all states. HDR computing efforts have thrown up many issues of data - both of a conceptual nature and also of availability. This paper looks at these constraints as they were discussed at a workshop and how participants sought to address these in connection with income and poverty estimates.

Institutional and Non-Institutional Credit in Agriculture-Case Study of Hugli District of West Bengal

in Agriculture Case Study of Hugli District of West Bengal Meenakshi Rajeev Sharmistha Deb West Bengal has been experiencing high growth of agricultural productivity since late 1970s. This period has also witnessed a growth of an informal credit market with a new lending class comprising traders (of HYV. fertilisers and pesticides), catering to the working capital needs of the farmers, A survey of Hugli district of West Bengal shows a high dependence of the small and marginal farmers on this market. Deprived of the relatively cheaper credit from the formal institutions these farmers are compelled to depend on high interest hearing loans for productive purposes and thereby face the risk of falling into a vicious cycle of perenniaI indebtedness.
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