Agri Ministry asks for Rs 10,500-crore more for new crop insurance scheme
Worried over with only a few takers for Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna, the agriculture ministry has sought additional Rs 10,500 crore to settle crop insurance claims this fiscal.
The new scheme, which was launched in January to bring ‘cheerful moments for farmers’, has till now only 2.53 crore farmers who have insured their crops under the scheme. According to experts, since farmers are finding it difficult to pay high premiums, the government has decided to pump in more funds into the scheme to motivate farmers for getting enrolled with new crop insurance. The Centre has planned to bring above 4 crore farmers under the scheme. “The budget allocation for this fiscal was Rs 5,500 crore for PMFBY. The ministry has demanded from the Finance Ministry to provide an additional budget of Rs 10,500 crore for the new scheme,” an agriculture ministry official said.
“More funds are being sought as the burden is set to increase in coming months as it has come to the notice of the ministry that farmers have started showing their keen interest in new crop scheme. It’s also that claims of about Rs 7,500 crore are pending from last year under the old crop insurance scheme,” the official said. “Out of Rs 5,500 crore budget allocated for PMFBY for the 2016-17 fiscal, Rs 5,000 crore has already been used for clearing part of last year’s claims under the National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS), while about Rs 476 crore has been kept aside for north eastern states and this amount cannot be utilised for other states,” the official said.