In 80% farmer-suicides due to debt, loans from banks, not moneylenders

It’s for the first time that the NCRB has categorised farmers’ suicides due to debt or bankruptcy based on the source of loans.

Written by Deeptiman Tiwary | New Delhi | Published:January 7, 2017 5:53 am
Farmer's suicide, farmers suicide India, farmers suicide reasons, farmers bank loans, farmers moneylenders loan, NCRB, NCRB data, NCRB on farmers suicide, NCRB data on farmers suicide, bankrupcy, india news, indian express news According to the NCRB data, “bankruptcy and indebtedness” witnessed the sharpest spike in 2015, registering an almost three-fold increase (3,097) as compared to 2014 (1,163). (Representational)

LOCAL MONEYLENDERS are usually portrayed as the villains in India’s farmer-suicides narrative, but government data shows that 80 per cent of farmers killed themselves in 2015 because of bankruptcy or debts after taking loans from banks and registered microfinance institutions.

According to National Crime Records Bureau’s latest farmer-suicides data, of the over 3,000 farmers who committed suicides across the country in 2015 due to debt and bankruptcy, 2,474 had taken loans from banks or microfinance institutions.

It’s for the first time that the NCRB has categorised farmers’ suicides due to debt or bankruptcy based on the source of loans.

The figures (see page 2) show that only 10 per cent farmers had committed suicide due to debts caused by loans taken from both banks and moneylenders — the share of loans from moneylenders under this section was 9.8 per cent.

As first reported by The Indian Express on August 19, 2016, farmer suicides saw a spike of 41.7 per cent in 2015 from 2014. The year 2015 saw 8,007 suicides by farmers compared to 5,650 in 2014, according to NCRB data.

Among the states, the data showed, Maharashtra (3,030), Telangana (1,358), Karnataka (1,197), Chhattisgarh (854) and Madhya Pradesh (516) led the table. Karnataka saw a more than three-fold rise in farmer suicides in 2015, as compared to 2014 when around 300 farmers ended their lives.

“The latest data is interesting because all of us thought that moneylenders were the culprits of the piece. Even today, more than half the people take loans from moneylenders,” said Abhijit Sen, a former member of the erstwhile Planning Commission.

However, Sen said, moneylenders were more flexible compared to banks and microfinance institutions. “The organised sector is less flexible because rules don’t permit them flexibility. The microfinance sector is worse. They put pressure by telling others in self-help groups that their share would be cut if one person does not pay loans in time. This creates social pressure, as well. Many also send goons to the neighbourhood to scare borrowers,” he said.

According to the NCRB data, “bankruptcy and indebtedness” witnessed the sharpest spike in 2015, registering an almost three-fold increase (3,097) as compared to 2014 (1,163).

Similarly, farm-related issues, too, have seen a sharp spike of over 61 per cent. While 969 suicides were recorded due to crop-failure and other farm-related issues in 2014, 2015 saw 1,562 suicides in this category.

Among states, Maharashtra (1,293) reported the maximum number of suicides due to “indebtedness”, followed by Karnataka (946) and Telangana (632). With 131 deaths, Telangana reported the highest number of suicides by farmers who took loans from moneylenders, with 131 deaths, followed by Karnataka (113).

Similarly, farm-related issues such as crop failure forced 769 farmers to end their lives in Maharashtra, followed by 363 in Telangana, 153 in Andhra Pradesh and 122 in Karnataka. Family problems (933) and illness (842) were other top reasons for suicides among farmers in 2015, according to NCRB data.

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  1. D
    Jul 16, 2017 at 12:43 pm
    1. D
      Jul 16, 2017 at 12:44 pm
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      George williams
      May 28, 2017 at 2:46 pm
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      1. B
        Bipin Bhardwaj
        Jan 7, 2017 at 1:58 am
        Total loan of farmers is less than 0.5% of the Loans which was written off for the Super rich, then with the policy of ruining agriculture and ruining them financially , free import of Pulses was enforce, now the import of duty free Wheat . These systematic policy of ruining farmers, agriculture is the main thrust of the Govt, to enrich MNCs at the cost of Indian Econ my. Is there anyone more anti national then the Govt itself.
        1. H
          Hindustan Hamara
          Jan 7, 2017 at 1:11 am
          Demonetization has given unlimited power to Banks. They will now bring various schemes of lending money on high interest rates. They will control now every sphere of our lives. Banks Rule!
          1. A
            Jan 7, 2017 at 4:45 am
            Need to look at the problem from root cause then trying to address the symtonslt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;1. Water irrigation and water management. India should start a large country level project to connect all rivers together and use every drop of it and prevent water going back to;br/gt;lt;br/gt;2. Reduce pressure on land by developing alternate form of employments lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;3. Crop insurance and minimum price for cropslt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;4. Education of farmers where risks of taking loans lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;6. Local issues why Maharashtra has highest sucides ? Preventing micro financing to farmers. Only large banks with crop insurance can provide the loans. Also make sure banks do not take bribe to give loans
            1. S
              S Srinivasan
              Jan 7, 2017 at 5:56 am
              It is only politics and mismanagement by the State authorities a federal setup likelt;br/gt;ours,the Centre can do only to certain level. Greed Revolution was started by a lt;br/gt;statesmen like Shri C Subramaniam but the next generation politicians have notlt;br/gt;taken duecare.Besides the national river linking projects is a non starter.Unlesslt;br/gt;and until the agriculture and policing are taken out from the State domain,thingslt;br/gt;will not improve a bit.Blaming the banks or for that matter " Karma" a myth.
              1. D
                Dr B
                Jan 7, 2017 at 4:42 am
                All government( Congress, BJP and others) policies are against the farmers because they are not united. Government interfere when prices of farm products reaches at a reasonable rate. Government increases the export duty and hence prices in the local market falls. However when prices falls down, government does not takes care of the farmers to get minimum support price. Honorable prime minister announced to waive two month interest on the crop loan of the farmers but they don't know maximum farmers are in bank defaulters list and they are not getting any type of loan from the bank.
                1. K
                  Jan 8, 2017 at 1:48 am
                  Every farm loan should have an built in crop insurance in the agreement, so that crop failures cannot cause an farmer to kill himself. Unfortunately Indian farmers use the loans to marry off their children, then have no money to use for the actual crops. The monitoring of the loans from the banks has to be strict, no non-farming activities should be allowed with the loans, this will prevent the suicides and also prove that farm failure due to loans is not the real reason behind the suicides.
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