The average monthly income of rural households in Maharashtra was Rs 8,938, which is higher than the all-India average of Rs 8,059, according to the National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development’s (NABARD) All India Rural Financial Inclusion Survey 2016-17. The survey covered 40,327 households across 2016 villages or wards spread over 245 districts in 29 states. These households together accounted for a population of 1,87,518.
As per the NAFIS data, the average rural household in Maharashtra sent Rs 6,821 per month leaving a surplus of Rs 2,117 that could be utilised for future savings, paying off existing debt and meeting other capital expenditure. Nationally, the average rural household spent Rs 6,646 leaving a surplus of Rs 1,413. There is a wide variation among states.
Andhra Pradesh, for example, had only Rs 96 surplus on an income of Rs 5,842 per month, the lowest on both counts. Uttar Pradesh, too, fared poorly with a surplus of Rs 314 on an income of Rs 6,257 per month. Rural households were the richest in Punjab with average monthly income of Rs 16,020 followed by Kerala with Rs 15,130. According to the report, agricultural households not only reported higher income and expenses as compared to the non-agricultural households, their income margins were also comparatively higher.
The incomes and surpluses also played an important role in the saving trends of rural households. The average rural household in Maharashtra had annual savings of Rs 35,406 compared to the national average of Rs 18,007. The average amount at the higher end was as high as Rs 90,103 for Punjab, followed by Haryana where the average reported savings was Rs 74,986 per saver.
In Kerala and Tamil Nadu, too, the average reported savings crossed Rs 30,000 per saver household, estimates the NAFIS report. On the other end, states such as Bihar and Tripura present themselves as concerns with very low levels (less than Rs 10,000 per saver household) of reported savings, the report added.