Farmers paid Rs 1.25 lakh crore as claims till Oct 31: Government

Farmers have been paid claims worth Rs 1,25,662 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana since its inception in 2016, the government said on Thursday. Crop insurance premium totalling Rs 25,186 crore have been paid by the farmers under the scheme till October 31, 2022.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), the agriculture ministry said, the government is committed to provide comprehensive insurance coverage against crop loss on account of non-preventable natural risks.

“In the last 6 years, Rs 25,186 crore have been paid by farmers as the premium, wherein Rs 1,25,662 crore have been paid to the farmers against their claims as on October 31, 2022 with Central and state governments bearing most of the premium under the scheme,” an official statement said, while clarifying on reports that a paltry sum of insurance claims being paid to the farmers in certain districts of Maharashtra.

The PMFBY is the third largest crop insurance scheme in the world and tipped to become number one in coming years as around 5 crore farmer applications are being received under the scheme every year, it added.
“The acceptability of the scheme has increased amongst the farmers in the last 6 years, with share of non-loanee farmers, marginalised farmers and small farmers increasing by 282 per cent since the initiation of the scheme in 2016,” the ministry said.

The scheme is being implemented on actuarial/ bidded premium rates, however, farmers, including small farmers have to pay maximum 2 per cent for Kharif, 1.5 per cent for Rabi food and oilseed crops, and 5 per cent for commercial/horticultural crops, respectively.

Premium over and above these limits is shared by the Central and state governments on 50:50 basis except in North Eastern region, where it is 90:10 from Kharif 2020.

The scheme operates on the insurance principles therefore the extent of area insured, extent of damage occurred, sum insured are the important determinants in arriving at the claim amount.

The ministry said that digitisation and technology are playing a significant role in scaling up the reach and operations of PMFBY with precision agriculture.

Recently introduced Weather Information and Network Data Systems (WINDS), Yield Estimation System based on Technology (YES-Tech), Collection of Real Time Observations and Photographs of Crops (CROPIC) are some of the key steps taken under the scheme to bring in more efficiency and transparency.

To address farmer grievances in real time, an integrated helpline system is currently under beta testing in Chhattisgarh, the statement said. PTI MJH SHW SHW

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