No Insurance Premium on Alternate Crops in Haryana

Chandigarh, July 21: Cotton growers in Haryana who enroll under both the crop insurance scheme ‘Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana’ (PMFBY) and crop diversification scheme ‘Mera Pani – Meri Virasat’, need not worry about any increase in premium rates, as the State Government will bear 100 percent of the cost of insuring alternate crops.

While stating this here today, Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture, and Farmers’ Welfare Department, Mr. Sanjeev Kaushal, said that following the revamp of the Central Government’s crop insurance scheme, farmers would have to pay two percent of the sum insured for Kharif, 1.5 percent of the sum insured for Rabi, and five percent for cotton, which is a commercial and annual crop.

However, farmers who opt to cultivate alternate crops, including cotton, under the State’s crop diversification scheme would not have to pay any insurance premium on such crops. The State Government would also bear 100 percent of the premium share of maize crops in eight blocks in five districts.

Mr. Kaushal said that farmers in the State have received more money in claims than the premium paid collectively by them and the Central and State governments under PMFBY in the past three years. Farmers had received Rs. 2,097.93 crore in claims, as compared to Rs. 1,672.03 crore paid as premium between Kharif 2016 and Rabi 2018-19.

Moreover, farmers in Haryana have paid the least and claimed the most as compared to neighbors Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh where Rs. 8,501.31 crore and Rs. 4,085.71 crore was paid as premium, and Rs. 6,110.77 crore and Rs. 1,392.6 crore was received as claims, respectively. At the national level, an amount of Rs. 76,154 crore was paid as premium collectively by the farmers, Central Government and State Government, but farmers received claims amounting to Rs. 55,617 crore.

As many as 49,78,226 farmers in the State were covered under the scheme between Kharif 2016 and Kharif 2019. Total premium of Rs. 2,524.98 crore was paid during this period, of which farmers paid Rs. 812.31 crores, the State Government paid Rs. 996.01 crores and Central Government paid Rs. 716.66 crores. In comparison, the farmers received Rs. 2,662.44 crore as claims.

Allaying the fears of farmers, he said that the changes made to the crop insurance scheme earlier this year would prove to be beneficial to them, as the scheme has been made voluntary for farmers with crop loans as well. Apart from this, the contract period for insurers has been extended to three years from one year, and insurance for single peril has been allowed. This means that farmers can choose which risk factors they wish to insure their crops against, instead of paying for the more expensive multi-peril cover which included factors that might be a rarity in that particular region.

He said that when the scheme was launched in Haryana in 2016, Kharif crops including paddy, bajra, maize and cotton, and Rabi crops namely wheat, mustard, gram, and barley were covered. The sunflower was also covered under the scheme Rabi 2018-19 onwards.

Giving details of measures taken by the Haryana Government for the implementation of PMFBY in the State, he said that the Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Department had established a State Level Grievance Committee to sort out the pending grievances at fast track level. The Department has also provided one project officer and one surveyor in each district exclusively to handle the scheme-related work.

A centralized call center was established in the Directorate with a 22-seat call center (one for each district). The Department also created the Management Information System (MIS) for localized claim intimations and timely assessment and settlement of localized claims. In 2019-20, the target was set to enroll one lakh non-loanees, including 30,000 in each of the three clusters.