Tag Archive: Debt

Amitabh Bachchan clears £450,000 debt of 1,398 farmers 

Comments Off on Amitabh Bachchan clears £450,000 debt of 1,398 farmers 

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, easily considered to be India’s greatest actor of all time, has just carried out an act that has simply wowed the globe. 

76-year-old bollywood legend has cleared more than 40 million rupees, that’s $560,000, worth of debt owed by farmers, amid a wider agricultural crisis that has forced many rural workers into extreme poverty.

He wrote in his online blog that he had "taken care" of 1,398 farmers in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, where Bachchan was born, by paying off their debt.

"Gratitude leans across to the desire of removing some of the burdens that farmers continue to suffer from...and the inner peace it generates when the desired is completed," Bachchan wrote.

For decades now, India’s farming industry has been blighted by drought, the depletion of the water table, declining productivity and a lack of modernisation. More than 50% of India's population is involved in the agricultural and allied sector, which contributes 18% of the country's GDP.

Farm suicides have been linked to debt - at least 300,000 farmers have taken their lives since 1995

In his blog, Bachchan added that banks had issued the farmers with a one-time settlement document and certificate. He cleared loans that were owed to the government-owned Bank of India paying due worth over 40 million rupees.

Considered a national institution, "Big B" as he is fondly called, has starred in over 200 movies. He also hosts the Indian version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" and recently spoke on air about his intentions to help farmers in Uttar Pradesh after a farmer appeared as a contestant.

Indian farmers have battled against a variety of hardships in recent years, brought about by a combination of monsoon-damaged crops, rising fuel costs and lack of adequate state support. As a result, thousands of farmers have fallen into debt. 

In 2016, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to boost the country's agriculture sector with a target of doubling the income of farmers by 2022.

Debt and what can be done about it

Leave a Comment

A survey found that 24% of young people are in debt all of the time. 48% also admit to having to borrow money to get to the end of the month. 25% said their debt had got worse over the past year and many see no end in sight, with only 39% thinking they will be clear of the debt by the time they reach 40.

There were also gender differences. Women seem to struggle more than men with more than half questioned say they often skip meals just to get by compared to 45% of young men.

Women also tend to be on the zero hours contracts and low pay which makes life even harder. In fact the coping strategies include 20% of young people using an overdraft facility, 18% borrow money from family and 14% use their credit cards to get by. 14% work extra hours just to get by.

So, what can you do in the first instance to start trying to get your affairs back in order?

Firstly, don’t ignore it, the debt will not go away. The first thing to do is to write down all the bills and loans that you have. Then write against each one which is secured and which is unsecured. The point of this is that secured loans are usually the ones that you will be advised to pay off first. You can get help from places like citizens advice to write this list, but it’s a great start as it helps you see the situation exactly as it is.

Once you have made the list then speak to your creditors. Try to negotiate with them how you can repay sensibly. The Banking Code now requires banks to try to help people in debt. Alongside this look at the money you have coming in including wages and any other benefits and what needs to go out. Outgoings will include rent or mortgage, utility bills and food. See how you can budget to manage your way out of the debt. But be realistic when you do this, you do need to eat and travel to work.

Once you have your finances in order and are paying back the debt you have it is important to keep an eye of what you are spending. It can be useful to see where you can cut back. Some examples include taking a packed lunch to work every day rather than buying lunch out. If you drive to work every day it may be useful to ask if your company has a car share scheme which will save your petrol costs.

In addition check your energy bills to see if there is a cheaper provider. Look at any landline, mobile and broadband packages that you have to see if you have a cheap option. Insurance is another area where you can make savings on existing policies by switching provider. Some of these individually may not look like you are saving any money but collectively they could add up to hundreds each year.

It is always sensible to speak to people who can help you work your way out of the debt situation you are in before it gets worse. The Citizens Advice Bureau can help and there is a National Debt Line you can call who can also listen and advise you.