Loan burden increased across India in 2020 amid pandemic: Study

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published Published on Apr 15, 2021   modified Modified on May 11, 2021

-Down to Earth

Among marginalised groups, indebtedness was highest in Muslim-majority and Scheduled Caste-majority hamlets

Indebtedness became more acute in around 70 per cent hamlets surveyed in 75 Indian districts during October-December 2020, according to a study on the effects of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and lockdowns.

The figure was 76 per cent in the first few months following last year’s lockdown. There was a slight dip in the indebtedness of the residents (66 per cent) before it rose again at the end of the year, said ‘The State of India's Poor, 2020-21’ report.

The study covered 476 villages spread across Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.

Data was collected in three rounds from April, 2020: April-June, July-September and October-December. The consolidated report will be released early next month.

Among marginalised groups, the burden of loans and indebtedness was the highest in Muslim-majority hamlets (92 per cent), followed by Scheduled Caste-majority hamlets (87 per cent) in the first round, the study found.

Around 95 per cent urban hamlets reported that indebtedness had increased in April-June.

Called the Collect initiative, the study was done by Partners in Change, in collaboration with Praxis, Dialectics, National Alliance Group of Denotified and Nomadic Tribes and Gethu Group, a workers-led think tank.

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Down to Earth, 15 April, 2021,

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