Published On : Wed, Sep 19th, 2018

Is PM Crop Insurance Scheme a fraud?

NAGPUR: Disappointed over the poor implementation of Prime Minister Crop Insurance Scheme, farmers have alleged that the scheme was launched to benefit private insurance companies. Interestingly, the data received from the agricultural department proves the farmers right.

The agriculture sector suffered huge losses due to storms, heavy rains, insects and other factors in the year 2017-18. In Nagpur region, 2,44,357 farmers had insured their crops under the scheme. However, only 54,336 farmers, i.e. only 20%, were given compensation under the insurance scheme. This has enraged the farmers across the region.

The insurance scheme was launched with an intention to provide stability to farmers and to compensate their loss of crops due to natural calamities and other reasons. Prime Minister Narendra Modi abolished the earlier insurance scheme based on national climate and introduced this new scheme giving more scope to private insurance companies. The new insurance scheme was promoted by spending huge amount of money on its promotion and even banks were asked to compel farmers to take the insurance.

In the six district under Nagpur region, 2,44,357 farmers either willingly or forcibly insured their crops on around 2.43 lakh hectares of land during 2017-18. The insured amount was recorded at Rs 991.11 crores.

In reality, only Rs 60.09 crores were deposited in the farmers’ accounts. The government had appointed Reliance General Insurance Company Ltd to insure crops in Wardha, Gondia and Gadchiroli. Crop insurance in Nagpur and Chandrapur districts was done by Bharatiya Krishi Vima Company Mumbai while Oriental Insurance Company Ltd Pune was appointed for Bhandara district.

Zilla Parishad member Vinod Patil said that the Kamptee tehsil had recorded crop lose due to storms. But when the insurance company officials and agriculture officers arrived at the farms, they told that the loss were not as per the rules and refused compensation.

Another ZP member Manohar Kumbhare informed that the survey done to gauge crop loss was a bogus one. The officials concerned didn’t go to the farms and wrote the reports sitting in their offices. And therefore only one farmer was found eligible for the compensation.

Farmers alleged that the government launches such schemes only to benefit the insurance companies and chemical companies, who funds their elections. Farmers are not provided insurance papers and therefore farmers are never aware of the terms and conditions of the insurance scheme. The insurance companies and agriculture officers have nothing to do with the profit or loss of the farmers.