GS Paper III: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

Indians’ debt increasing, highest credit uptake among urban Scheduled Castes

What’s Happening-
NSSO data:
During the decade 2002-12, credit uptake and the resultant debt burden among Indians grew at a phenomenal pace.
The growth was especially fast among urban Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs).

What is NSSO?

  • The NSSO, comes under the union government’s Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
  • NSSO is the largest organisation carrying out socio-economic surveys in India.
  • The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation came into existence as an Independent Ministry.
  • After the merger of the Department of Statistics and the Department of Programme Implementation.
  • The Ministry has two wings, one relating to Statistics and the other Programme Implementation.
  • The Statistics Wing called the National Statistical Office(NSO) consists of the Central Statistical Office (CSO), the Computer Centre and the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO).


  • Interestingly, an increasing percentage of this growing debt is being used to meet household expenses, rather than for the creation of productive assets.
  • Increased consumption has fuelled increased borrowing.
  • The borrowings are substantially higher in the SC community because of entitlement-driven loans where sops are provided to the community.
  • The figures suggest that the community is catching up with others when it comes to consumption.
  • However, the fact that the bulk of the money is spent in meeting household expenses rather than in wealth generation is a worrying aspect.

In 2002, Indians on average were taking credit which was roughly 2.8% of the value of assets they held.
A decade on, credit uptake was as high as 8.51% of their total assets in rural areas and 14.84% in urban areas.

Sources-The Hindu, The Indian Express. Page 10