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Punjabi farmers 'most indebted' in India

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Punjabi farmers 'most indebted' in India

New Delhi, May 12 (UNI): Punjab tops the "Indebtedness list of farmer households" of states with every farmer family on an average owing Rs 41,576 to credit institutions including private money lenders against an all India average of Rs 12,585.

Punjab is followed by Kerala with Rs 33,907, Haryana Rs 26,007, Andhra Pradesh Rs 23,965 and Tamil Nadu Rs 23,963.

Almost all the State farmer households barring those of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttranchal, West Bengal owe nearly Rs 10,000 or above.

This was revealed in a Survey on "Indebtedness of Farmer Households" by the National Sample Survey Organisation, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation here on Wednesday.

Going by different social groups of farmer households on all India basis, kisans belonging to the Scheduled Tribe owed below Rs 6,000, while that of the Scheduled Castes below Rs 8,000.

Farmer Households belonging to the other backward classes were burdened by just below Rs 14,000, while farmer households of other categories were indebted to the level of Rs 18,000 and above.

Another notable feature in case of Punjab was that farmer households belonging to Scheduled Tribes were really over burdened with outstanding loans amounting to Rs 1,18,495, while the Scheduled Castes Rs 10,399, OBCs Rs 21,862 and others Rs 66,147.

Punjab is the only State in the country, where scheduled tribe farmer households owed rupees one lakh and above, which also tops in other respects.

Another interesting aspect thrown up by the 59th Round of the National Sample Survey pertains to Mizoram, where the scheduled tribes alone had outstanding loans of Rs 1,937 while no other social group including the Others' category owed anything.

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