33 lakh farmers yet to get 1,600 crore crop insurance, likely to be cleared in a week

By Times Of India on 06 Jun 2018 | read
NAGPUR: Over 33 lakh farmers in the state are waiting to get their crop insurance claims of the previous season. Even as it is the fifth season of Prime Minister Agriculture Insurance Scheme, the claims for last year’s cropping season have been delayed by over two months.

In the normal course, the insurance money is expected to be paid by March-April. This year till May end claims to the tune of Rs2,300 crore of 45 lakh farmers had remained unpaid. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had convened a meeting of representatives of the insurance companies through which the schemes are offered.

Fadnavis who had expressed displeasure over delay in payment of insurance dues had directed the companies to clear the pendency by June 7. After this dues to the tune of Rs560 crore for nearly 11.60 lakh farmers have been paid. Now over Rs1,600 crore remain for 33 lakh others.

An official in the state’s agriculture department who is handling the issue said, insurance companies are being pushed and the dues are expected to be cleared in the coming week. The official accepted that the money should have been paid by April at the most. “The objective behind ensuring early payment is that the farmer who has suffered losses, has money in hand to purchase inputs for next season in time,” the sources said.

Sources in the department said the delay was due to a mix of reasons. This year an online system of direct payment into farmers’ accounts was put in place. The insurance companies faced hassles in the implementation. Apart from it some of the companies which were roped in for selling the polices too faltered processing the claims leading the delays.

The insurance is linked with the crop loans and majority of the advances are through district central cooperative banks (DCCBs). The DCCBs have a four digit account number as compared to a 16 digit number of other accounts where online payment can be made. It took time for the insurance companies to validate such accounts which in turn delayed the process, said a senior official

Earlier it also was seen that often farmers did not immediately get the amount especially where the accounts were with DCCBs. The cooperatives which often face liquidity crisis withheld the insurance money to meet the immediate liabilities. This is also one of the reasons for having a system of direct online payment, an official said.