In a bid to streamline the claim settlement for farmers under the two year old PMFBY(Prime minister Fasal Bima Yojana), the government has said the insured farmers will be paid 12 per cent interest by insurance companies for the delay in settlement of claims beyond two months of prescribed cut-off date.
With a fall in the targeted growth of the PMFSY(Prime minister Fasal Bima Yojana) in 2017, after having a flying start in 2016, the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare .the nodal ministry for the programme,to push growth. has brought in a few significant changes in the existing scheme, to be implemented from Rabi 2018-19.
The government wants that insurance companies must enroll 10 per cent more non-loanee farmers than the previous corresponding season and will have to mandatorily spend 0.5 per cent of their gross premium for publicity and awareness.
The new revised operational norms in the PMFSY are-
•Farmers will be paid 12 per cent interest by insurance companies for the delay in settlement of claims beyond two months of prescribed cut-off date.
•State governments will have to pay 12 per cent interest for the delay in release of State share of subsidy beyond three months of prescribed cut-off date/submission of requisition by insurance companies.
•A Standard Operating Procedure for evaluation of outcome of insurance companies and de-empanelment from the scheme if found ineffective in providing services.
•Perennial horticultural crops included under the ambit of PMFBY on a pilot basis.
•Inclusion of hailstorm in post harvest losses, besides unseasonal and cyclonic rainfall. Inclusion of cloud burst and natural fire in localized calamities in addition to hailstorm, landslide, and inundation.
•Provides for add on coverage for crop loss due to attack of wild animals, which will be implemented on a pilot basis.
•Rationalisation of methodology for calculation of claim amount
The changes are being planned at a time when farmers enrolment under the scheme saw a decline of 20 per cent in 2017-18. In 2016-17, farmers covered in PMFBY stood at 5.73 crore.
The insurance companies received claims worth around Rs 19,000 crore from farmers across the country for Kharif 2017.
In 2016-17, the Budget allocation by the central government was Rs 9,000 crore, but Rs 12,000 crore was spent under the scheme. In the fiscal 2017-18, the Budget allocation was Rs 13,000 crore, but Rs 15,000 crore was spent on the PMFBY.
Minister of State for Agriculture Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said 10 crore farmers in the country have taken the cover of the PMFBY and five crore of them availed insurance benefits so far.
The growth in India’s crop insurance market premium has been phenomenal — from Rs 4,200 crore in 2015-16 it reached Rs 22,180 crore in 2016-17. In 2017-18, it grossed a premium of Rs 24,352 crore and for 2018-19, projected premium under crop insurance Rs 27,000 crore, GIC Re, the largest reinsurer of PMFSY, said.