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

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More Credit for Agricultural Households?

NSSO’s 70th Round on Indebtedness

An increase in indebtedness in agriculture between 2003 and 2013 does not necessarily mean a growth in debt that has debilitated the cultivator. Higher indebtedness may also refl ect a more enabling process--the increased availability of institutional credit. An analysis of NSSO data.

The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) report, Situation Assessment of Agricultural Households (AHHs) (70th round), conducted during January–December 2013 was a repeat survey of the 59th round of 2003 (kharif and rabi seasons). The NSSO’s 70th round, published in December 2014, shows that the percentage of indebted AHHs in Punjab have declined as compared to the 59th round. Though, in India as a whole, the percentage of indebted AHHs has increased to 51.9% in 2013 from 48.6% in 2003.

Among the states, Andhra Pradesh has the highest percentage of indebted AHHs at 93% followed by Telangana (90%), three other southern states range from 77% to 83%, Rajasthan (62%), Odisha (58%), Maharashtra (57%) and Punjab at 53%. Many states have recorded increases in indebtedness by about 10 percentage points or more—Odisha (48% to 58%), Bihar (33% to 43%) and Rajasthan (50% to 62%)—while Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat show a decrease in indebtedness by about 10 percentage points or more. The indebtedness of AHHs in Punjab with the highest agricultural productivity has decreased from 65.4% in 2003 to 53.2% in 2013. Thus, in terms of indebtedness, Punjab’s farmers have slipped to ninth place in 2013 compared to their third place in 2003.

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