Hyderabad: The State government wanted amendments to the existing Central government crop insurance policy under “Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana’ to provide farmers with insurance support during crop damage.
The Union government had launched the insurance scheme across the country, subsequently the State government notified the scheme and asked farmers to avail the opportunity by paying premium. As per the Centre’s guidelines, farmers who opt for crop loans from banks and co-operate credit societies should be brought under PMFBY insurance coverage. However, insurance is optional for farmers, who didn’t take loans.
On the flipside, farmers are not showing interest to opt for crop insurance. According to the Agriculture Department, only 20-30 per cent farmers availed crop insurance during 2015-16.
Around 13 lakh farmers paid premium during 2015-16 out of 55 lakh farmers in the State. The reason can be attributed to the stringent guidelines which would not help farmers. “Instead of treating farmers as a unit while sanctioning claims, the PMFBY scheme is considering entire village as a unit, which is not attracting the farmers to go for the scheme,” said Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy to Telangana Today. He said the State government would contribute a major portion of funds and collect a nominal premium from farmers but they were not willing to come forward.
The Assembly also unanimously approved amendments to PMFBY scheme and sent it to the Central government which has been pending for a long time, Minister said. Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao wanted every farmer should be benefited with the schemes, but PMFBY is not helping farmers due to considering entire village as a unit to settling claims. Hence, we decided to mount pressure on the Central government once again to alter the guidelines, said Agriculture Secretary C Parathasarathi.
The insurance companies are not considering if a particular farmer’s crop damaged due to heavy down poor and drought conditions since the guidelines do not permit to settle the claims. Now, the State government is once again planning to pressure on the Centre to consider farmer as a unit.