The Union government has decided to cover damages to crops in wild animal attacks under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna in select districts on an experimental basis, Agricultural Minister Radha Mohan Singh has said.
In this regard, Government has amended provisions of the crop insurance scheme in consultation with various stakeholders after review of its working for the last two years. The amended provisions of the scheme have been implemented from October 2018.
As per the new provisions:
- Certain horticultural crops have been brought under the ambit of PMFBY on an experimental basis.
- Damages due to individual fields due to incidents of localized disasters like water logging, landslide, cloudbursts, hailstorms and fire too are brought under the scheme.
- Henceforth, insurances firms will also have to spend 0.5% of their earnings from annual premium to advertise provisions of the scheme.
- Fines in cases of delay in clearing insurance claims for crop damages have been proposed.
- In case firm delays insurance clearances beyond two months, it will have to pay an annual interest of 12%. Similarly, State government too will have to pay interest of 12% in case of delay in the release of state’s share of subsidy in premium to insurance firms.
In April 2016, the government of India had launched Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) after rolling back the earlier insurance schemes viz. National Agriculture Insurance Scheme (NAIS), Weather-based Crop Insurance scheme and Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (MNAIS).
It envisages a uniform premium of only 2% to be paid by farmers for Kharif crops, and 1.5% for Rabi crops. The premium for annual commercial and horticultural crops will be 5%.
The scheme is mandatory for farmers who have taken institutional loans from banks. It’s optional for farmers who have not taken institutional credit.
- Providing financial support to farmers suffering crop loss/damage arising out of unforeseen events.
- Stabilizing the income of farmers to ensure their continuance in farming.
- Encouraging farmers to adopt innovative and modern agricultural practices.
- Ensuring the flow of credit to the agriculture sector which contributes to food security, crop diversification and enhancing growth and competitiveness of the agriculture sector besides protecting farmers from production risks.