Crores of households in India, both in urban and rural areas, have nothing that we call asset, neither physical nor financial. They have only their bodies and lives that they somehow carry on. They don’t have even an address since they don’t have even land or house of their own, and hence there is no question of their access to social security programmes. At best they receive a little charity from the charitable. Urban areas are worse with about 2 per household in this category while in rural areas the percentage is about 0.6. About 14.6 per cent household in urban areas have no physical asset, while 5.3 per cent has no financial asset. In rural areas, 2.5 per cent do not have any physical asset, and 3.4 per cent do not have any financial asset.
It has been revealed in the latest All India Debt and Investment Survey – 2019, (NSS 77th round) data released recently for the year just before the COVID-19 struck the country, which has further exacerbated the situation. Dismal performance of the Governments is thus irrefutable. If Modi Government is doing great service to the nation, as it has been claimed, the benefit does not reach these people, since they have been utterly neglected by the successive Government.
The data shows that 35 per cent of the rural population are in debt, and the average debt was Rs 59,748. Indebtedness among cultivator households was 40.3 per cent, and among non-cultivators was 28.2 per cent.
As for urban areas, indebtedness is 22 per cent. The debt per household in urban areas was Rs 120,336. Indebtedness among self-employed households was 27.5 per cent while in others it was 20.6 per cent.
The survey data, thus present a grim scenario, both for rural and urban areas of the country, which need urgent redressal in the light of further worsening of the situation in the last one and half year of lockdowns and containment measures that have brought unprecedented damage to the economy and well-being.