Question : INDEBTED FARMERS IN THE COUNTRY



(a) whether the Government has made any study to assess the total number of farmers in the country and the number of indebted farmers out of them;

(b) if so, the details thereof, State-wise;

(c) whether any steps are under consideration to rescue these indebted farmers of the country; and

(d) if so, the details thereof?

Answer given by the minister


MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS, FOOD & PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION(DR. AKHILESH PRASAD SINGH)

(a): Yes, Sir. National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) in its survey report on `Indebtedness of Farmer Households` released in the month of May, 2005 has estimated the total number of farmer households in the country and the number of indebted farmer households out of them.

(b): Details are at Annexure- I.

(c) & (d): Details are at Annexure- II.

Annexure-I

Estimated number of rural households, and total and indebted farmer Households in each State


State	Estimated  number  	Estimated number of	Estimated number  	Percentage of 
	of rural house 		farmers house		of indebted  		farmer house
	holds(00)		holds (00)		farmer households 	holds indebted
							(00)




(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Andhra Pr. 142512 60339 49493 82.0 Arunachal Pr. 15412 1227 72 5.9 Assam 41525 25040 4536 18.1 Bihar 116853 70804 23383 33.0 Chattisgarh 36316 27598 11092 40.2 Gujarat 63015 37845 19644 51.9 Haryana 31474 19445 10330 53.1 Himachal Pr. 11928 9061 3030 33.4 Jammu & Kashmir 10418 9432 3003 31.8 Jharkhand 36930 28238 5893 20.9 Karnataka 69908 40413 24897 61.6 Kerala 49942 21946 14126 64.4 Madhya Pradesh 93898 63206 32110 50.8 Maharashtra 118177 65817 36098 54.8 Manipur 2685 2146 533 24.8 Meghalaya 3401 2543 103 4.1 Mizoram 942 780 184 23.6 Nagaland 973 805 294 36.5 Orissa 66199 42341 20250 47.8 Punjab 29847 18442 12069 65.4 Rajasthan 70172 53080 27828 52.4 Sikkim 812 531 174 38.8 Tamil Nadu 110182 38880 28954 74.5 Tripura 5977 2333 1148 49.2 Uttar Pradesh 2214199 171575 69199 40.3 Uttaranchal 11959 8962 644 7.2 West Bengal 121667 69226 34696 50.1 Group of UTs 2325 732 372 50.8 All India 1478988 893504 434242 48.6

Annexure - II

1. To rescue the indebted farmers of the country, Government has advised the banks as under:

i. To increase credit flow to agriculture sector at the rate of 30% per year.

ii. Debt restructuring under the following heads in accordance with the guidelines issued by Reserve bank of India (RBI)/ National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (NABARD):

? Farmers in distress – Rescheduling/restructuring of the outstanding loan of the farmer as on 31st March, 2004 in the districts declared as calamity-affected by the State Government. Rescheduled loan shall be repayable over a period of five years, at current interest rates, including an initial moratorium of two years.

? Farmers in arrears – Loans in default of farmers who have become ineligible for fresh credit as their earlier debts have been categorized as sub-standard or doubtful shall be rescheduled as per the guidelines so that such farmers become eligible for fresh credit.

On restructuring as above, the farmers will become eligible for fresh loans.

iii. Banks have been advised to grant a one-time settlement (OTS) including partial waiver of interest or loan to the small and marginal farmers who have been declared as defaulters and have become ineligible for fresh credit. Banks have also been advised to review cases where credit has been denied on the sole ground that a loan account was settled through compromise or write offs.

iv. In some parts of the country, farmers face acute distress because of the heavy burden of debt from non-institutional lenders (e.g., moneylenders). Banks have been permitted to advance loans to such farmers to provide them relief from indebtedness.

v. The banks have been advised to waive margin/ security requirements for agricultural loans up to Rs. 50,000 and agri-business and agri-clinics up to Rs. 5 lakh.