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Letter to BS: Use of the term 'indebtedness' in NABARD survey inappropriate

To shorten the timeframe of economic development, it is legitimate for every entity to raise loan to fund its credible development activities and projects

Business Standard 

Centre plans to use MGNREGA more effectively in post-harvest works

Apropos the news item, “Farm income limit hiked due to inflation: NABARD” (August 23); Terming households that earned at least Rs 5,000 per month as agricultural income is intuitively sound. The survey by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development has also vindicated that despite all our tall claims on pushing many agricultural development policies, farmers’ income has been rising due to incomes coming from sources other than cultivation. However, the use of the term ‘indebtedness’ and good inference drawn thereupon needs amending. The word ‘indebtedness’ indicates vulnerability, helplessness and distress.

To shorten the timeframe of economic development, it is legitimate for every entity to raise loan to fund its credible development activities and projects. So long as the activities and assets created out of this borrowed fund are in a position to fully service the loan liability and leave behind some meaningful additional amount to raise the user’s economic well-being, it’s considered to be healthy. As such, future reports may throw light on the percentage of farmers, among those in debt, who have healthy portfolio allocations at their end. Those who don’t have this may only be termed as

in ‘indebtedness’.

Ranjit Kumar Das

Bhubaneswar

First Published: Thu, August 23 2018. 21:29 IST
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