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Farmers Wait For Claims

Bhubaneswar: Over 14.27 lakh farmers from Odisha are waiting to get insurance claims made for their losses due to natural disasters during the kharif crop season 2021.

The new crop season 2022 has already arrived and the farmers across the State have started their activities. However, the 14.27 lakh farmers covered under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) are facing financial issues due to delay or rejection of their insurance claims by the insurance companies, sources said.

Even though the government has submitted the joint inspection reports, the insurance companies have either rejected or delayed the release of the claims of the insured farmers.

Due to the attitude of the insurance companies, the farmers are unable to get fresh loans from cooperative societies or banks as they have not cleared their earlier dues. They also face issues in buying or getting seeds or fertilisers supplied by the government on subsidised rates. As a result, the farmers are in distress and moving pillar to post for help. In some places, the farmers have also started agitation.

As per a written statement of Cooperation Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak in Assembly, Insurance Companies have raised objections on the claims made by 14,27,645 farmers of nine districts.

Out of them, highest 8,04,982 farmers are belonging to Bargarh district, followed by Bolangir—3,82,119, Sambalpur—1,29,907, Puri—38,285, Deogarh—27,004, Ganjam—25,808, Kendrapara–1,0731, Balasore—5683 and Jagatsinghpur—3125.  

In Odisha, three insurance companies HDFC Ergo, AIC and Reliance GIC have been providing insurance coverage to crops under the PMFBY.

Meanwhile, a political slugfest has started between the BJD Government at State and the BJP.

Putting the ball on Centre’s court, on last Monday, Minister Mr.Nayak had written a letter to Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar on this issue.  

Mr.Nayak said the Kharif season of 2021 was fraught by many natural calamities affecting many crops especially paddy which is the major crop of the State and accounts for nearly 98 per cent of the area insured.

The estimated claim for the said season is about Rs. 1364 crore out of which claims to the tune of Rs.748 crore have been settled, so far, he informed.

“It has come to the notice of the State Government that in many cases the notified insurance companies have raised objections regarding the conduct of CCE and held up the claims,” he further pointed out.

The objections raised by the insurance companies have been duly complied yet the claims have not been settled which has led to farmers unrest in many places and likely to affect the enrolment process for Kharif 22 which is underway, he added.

On the other hand, a delegation of BJP legislators on Thursday prepared a memorandum to Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC).

In absence of APC, the Memorandum was handed over to Director Agriculture Prem Chandra Chaudhary.

The BJP MLAs alleged that due to the State Government’s faulty policy, the insurance companies are not paying the claims to the farmers in many districts. They urged the APC to take immediate actions for early release of claims to the eligible farmers under the PMFBY.