Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Thought on the subject has naturally concentrated mainly on the position of the borrower. We also are anxious to protect the borrower; at the same time considerable light can be thrown on the problem by examining it from the other end, namely, from the point of view of the lender. The worker's debts are due to a large extent to the fact that the lender finds in him a profitable investment and is ready and, indeed, eager to give the worker money which it is contrary to the latter's interest to accept. After weighing carefully the considerations on both aides, we are definitely of the opinion that it is in the worker's interest to reduce his attractiveness as a field for investment. In other words, efforts must be concentrated on diminishing his power of obtaining credit. We recognise the force of the argument against this conclusion. There are occasions when the worker is in grave need, and money-lenders often perform a useful function in assisting the worker in emergencies. But the widespread havoc produced by the present system of comparatively easy credit far exceeds the hardships that would result from a reduction in the money-lender's readiness to lend. It is relevant to observe that, if the larger loans were not advanced, the worker would probably find it easier than it is to borrow the smaller sums necessary to tide him over a hard time and to repay these without undue delay. Our proposals, then, are mainly directed towards making it unprofitable for the money-lender to advance to workers amounts which are beyond their power to repay.