About 35% of rural households in rural India were indebted as against 22.4% in urban areas before the pandemic. According to All India Debt & Investment Survey, conducted by the National Statistical Office (NSO), ministry of statistics and programme implementation, during January-December 2019, the average amount of debt among rural households was Rs 59,748 compared to Rs 1,20,336 in urban areas.
More than 50.2% of agricultural households were indebted with the average outstanding loan per household at Rs 74,121 with only 69.6% of the outstanding loans taken from banks, cooperative societies and government agencies, the survey showed. Besides, only 57.5% of the loans was taken for agricultural purposes, showed the survey, earlier conducted in 1972, 1982, 1992, 2003 and 2013.
The share of outstanding cash debt in urban areas from institutional credit agencies was 87% compared to 13% from non-institutional credit agencies, according to the survey.
The average amount of debt in rural areas was Rs 74,460 for cultivator households and Rs 40,432 for non-cultivator households. In urban areas, it was Rs 1,79,765 for self-employed households and Rs 99,353 for other households.
Among the indebted households in rural India, the average amount of debt was Rs 1,70,533 with Rs 1,84,903 for cultivator households and Rs 1,43,557 for non-cultivator households. The average amount of debt was Rs 5,36,861 among indebted households in urban India with Rs 6,52,768 for self-employed households and Rs 4,82,162 for other households.
The survey, conducted in more than 5,940 villages covering 69,455 households and 3,995 blocks covering 47,006 households in the urban sector, also showed the average value of all the physical and financial assets owned per household. Around 99.4% of rural households (100% cultivator households and 98.6% non-cultivator households) reported owning asset (physical or financial) compared to 98% in urban areas (99.7% self-employed households and 97.3% other households).
The average value of asset per household was Rs 15,92,379 in rural India (Rs 22,07,257 for cultivator households and Rs 7,85,063 for non-cultivator households) as against Rs 27,17,081 in urban areas (Rs 41,51,226 for self-employed households and Rs 22,10,707 for other households).
In rural areas, the average value of physical asset per household was Rs 15,19,771 and average value of financial asset was Rs 72,608. In urban India, the average value of physical asset per household was Rs 24,65,277 and average value of financial asset per household was Rs 2,51,804.