Our Bureau

New Delhi, Feb. 2

THE households in the eastern States of Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Assam and the rural areas of Orissa seem to be more conservative in borrowing than those in the other States.

According to a report by the National Sample Survey Organisation, the eastern States had reported much lower average amount of borrowings than those of the other States throughout the three decades that ended on 2002-03.

However, some of the northern States such as Punjab, Haryana and the southern States Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh reported high amount of borrowings during this period.

NSSO's survey on `Household borrowings and repayments in India during 2002-03' also showed that the average amount of borrowing of a household belonging to the highest asset holding class (Rs 8 lakh and above) was about 27 times that in the lowest asset holding class (less than Rs 0.15 lakh) in the rural areas. In the urban areas, this differential stood at 17 times.

All States and Union Territories were covered under the survey. The survey was spread over 6,552 villages and 3,757 urban blocks covering 91,192 households in the rural sector and 52,093 households in the urban areas.

During 2002-03, about 21 per cent of the rural households and 15 per cent of the urban households reported borrowings. In Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, the proportion of households reporting cash borrowings during 2002-03 was very high in both the rural (between 33 and 42 per cent) and the urban (between 30 and 35 per cent) areas. Whereas, in Jammu and Kashmir, Uttaranchal and Delhi, the incidence of borrowing was very low - ranging from 3 to 6 per cent in the rural areas and from 1 to 3 per cent in the urban areas.

The survey revealed that about 73 per cent of the households in India were estimated to be in the rural areas. Among the rural households, about 60 per cent were cultivator households, implying that they operated at least 0.002 hectare of land during the last 365 days.

Among the urban households, about 36 per cent were self-employed households. Their major source of income during the last 365 days was through self-employment of the household members.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 3, 2006)
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