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Crop Insurance Fails Farmers

Bhubaneswar: Governing BJD on Monday alleged that lakhs of farmers in Odisha are suffering due to the non-settlement of their claims under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).

BJD MP and Spokesperson, Sasmit Patra alleged that claims amounting to more than Rs 1000 crores under the PMFBY have not been settled by the insurance companies.

He said that lakhs of Odisha farmers are affected by the PMFBY across Bargarh, Sambalpur, Sonepur, Deogarh, Bolangir, Nuapada, and Kalahandi districts of Odisha.

Over the past five years, Rs 1.26 lakh crores have been paid as crop insurance premium across India and Rs 87,320 crore received as claims. The insurance companies made Rs 40,000 Crores of PMFBY money, affecting the interests of the farmers.

In Odisha, the State Government has paid Rs 3250.48 Crores so far and Odisha farmers have paid Rs 1009.84 Crores to the insurance companies so far. Adding the Centre’s share, the total payment is Rs. 7510.8 Crores till Kharif 2021, he said.

Till Kharif 2020, the total premium paid to insurance companies was Rs. 6163.28 Crores while the payment by the insurance companies to claims of farmers was Rs. 5098.64 Crores.

Thus, the Insurance Companies profited to an amount of Rs. 1064.64 Crores, which is 17.27% of the total Premium Paid.

In Odisha between 2018-2020, farmers filed crop insurance claims of Rs. 2090 crores but insurance companies paid only 50% of those claims amounting to Rs. 1026 Crores.

Dr.Patra said the farmers of Odisha are facing repeated harassment by the insurance companies relating to the assessment of their claims and payment under PMFBY.

Six states namely Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Telangana and West Bengal have opted out of PMFBY and total area insured has also gone down by 73 lakh hectares (from 567 lakh hectare in 2016-17 to 495 lakh hectare in 2019-20).

“It is high time that the Union Government rectifies these issues and help the farmers in times of distress. It should use new technological innovations such as drones to clear assessment of claims expeditiously and allow only Government insurance companies to undertake PMFBY in order to safeguard the interests of the farmers,” said Dr.Patra.

“BJD MPs have repeatedly taken this up in both Houses of Parliament. We will continue to fight for our farmers till their claims are settled,” he added.