Years on, farm insurance policy awaits approval - ECAS Punjab

Years on, farm insurance policy awaits approval

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Ruchika M Khanna

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11

Even as the Gujarat Government has quit the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) and announced its own agriculture insurance scheme, Punjab, the first state to reject the PMFBY after it was announced in 2016, has still not brought out its own policy for the farmers.

The policy was made in 2018 by the Punjab State Farmers' and Farm Workers Commission, which had participatory and social equity as its determining factors. For almost two years now, the scheme is still "in the discussion stage".

Gujarat's Mukhya Mantri Kisan Sahay Yojana has an outgo of Rs 1,700-Rs 1,800 crore and a maximum compensation of Rs 10,000 per acre. Punjab's proposed farm insurance scheme has an outgo of just Rs 100 crore and farmers are to contribute another Rs 100 crore. In case of loss of more than 33 per cent, it is proposed that farmers will get a compensation of up to Rs 15,400 per acre (for loss of over 33 per cent) from a special crop compensation fund that was proposed to be set up.

As of now, in case of any crop damage, farmers get anything between Rs 2,000 and Rs 12,000 per acre as compensation based on extent of damage and if loss is more than 33 per cent. While Rs 2,000-Rs 5,400 per acre is granted from the State Disaster Relief Fund, the remaining amount is granted from the funds released by the Centre.

"Our scheme is based on state specific situation and proposes less financial burden on the state and high claims to farmers. We had proposed that each farmer contribute just 0.2 per cent of the market value of his produce as premium, which would help create a corpus of Rs 100 crore each year. The state was to contribute another Rs 100 crore per annum, while the Centre can be urged to contribute another Rs 100 crore. From this fund farmers can be compensated for crop loss," said BS Sidhu, member secretary, Punjab State Farmers' and Farm Workers Commission.



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