New Delhi: After a blame game between State and Centre over delay in disbursal of crop insurance claims to farmers of Odisha, the Union Government has said that Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) is voluntary for the States.
Replying to an un-starred question of BJD Rajya Sabha Member Sasmit Patra, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the PMFBY was introduced in the country from the Kharif 2016 season.
Some States/UTs of Bihar, Telangana, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Gujarat have opted out of the scheme, after implementing it, for some seasons such as perception about risk and financial constraints, he said.
Due to the efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Andhra Pradesh has re-joined the scheme from the Kharif 2022 season.
“The PMFBY is available for all States/UTs and is voluntary for them. States/UTs are free to subscribe under the scheme keeping in view their risk perception and financial considerations etc.,” Mr.Tomar said in his written statement.
The scheme is also voluntary for the farmers to enroll themselves as per their risk perception, he said.
Since the inception of the scheme in Kharif 2016, 27 States/Union Territories implemented the PMFBY in one or more seasons.
Asked about reasons behind the delay in release of crop insurance claims, the Union Minister said settlement of few claims in some States got slightly delayed due to reasons like delayed transmission of yield data by the State Government; late release of State share in premium subsidy, yield related disputes between insurance companies and States, non-receipt of account details of some farmers for transfer of claims to the bank account of eligible farmers and National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT) related issues, erroneous/incomplete entry of individual farmers data on National Crop Insurance Portal (NCIP), delay in remittance of farmers share of premium/non-remittance of farmers share of premium to concerned insurance company etc.
However, Mr.Tomar said his department is regularly monitoring the implementation of PMFBY including timely settlement of claims through weekly video conferences of stakeholders, one to one meetings with insurance companies/States etc.
Notably, ahead of the Padampur by-poll, the State Government and Centre locked their horns over delay in release of claims under PMFBY to the farmers affected due to drought during Kharif 2021. Later, the Union Government released the crop insurance claims.