Badal points out shortcomings in new crop insurance scheme

By TheHindu on 15 Nov 2016

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday said there were certain shortcomings in the new crop insurance scheme (Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana) that was recently launched by the Union government.

“The government needs to overcome these shortcomings so as to make it a more farmer friendly policy,” Mr. Badal told reporters at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar on the sidelines of Sangat Darshan programme of Nawanshahr Assembly segment.

He said declaring a village as a unit for crop insurance would hardly fulfil the basic spirit behind introducing this scheme. “The scheme must ensure that a plot is considered a unit to compensate the farmers for their loss,” he said.

Mr. Badal said that insuring the crop only if the entire village pays its premium was also an impractical assumption and therefore, the Centre should look into these shortcoming seriously and amend them.

“We are bringing all these points to the notice of the Central government and will urge it to amend the scheme so that farmers, especially from the original green revolution states like Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh, benefit from it,” he added.

The new crop insurance scheme that was launched earlier this month has been perceived as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first significant move to address rural hardship and woo voters ahead of key elections after the government faced criticism for “ignoring” the concerns of the farmers.

Refuting the allegation levelled by Congress that main accused in the Abohar murder case was associated with Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr. Badal said that this was baseless as the person concerned was not related to his party directly or indirectly.

The Chief Minister said the State government was fully committed to nab those behind the killing.

On probe being carried out by National Investigation Agency (NIA) into Pathankot terror attack, the Chief Minister said that the national agency was probing the incident very minutely and any one found guilty in this case would not be spared at any cost.

He said the state government was adopting a zero tolerance towards the issues involving national security, law and order, peace and brotherhood.

“Anyone found indulging in such issues of grave national importance will not be spared at any cost,” said Mr. Badal.

The Chief Minister said Punjab was the only state in the country where the entire government goes to the doorsteps of the people to solve their problems through Sangat Darshans.

Mr. Badal also refuted the allegations regarding discrimination in allocation of funds adding that opposition was criticizing this programme just for the sake of criticism.

Earlier addressing the public gatherings in village Urapar and Wazidpur, the Chief Minister said he would continue to hold Sangat Darshans across the State.

“This is a growth oriented programme and nothing can deter me from carrying on this exercise,” the Chief Minister said.

Listing the major initiatives taken by his government, the Chief Minister said it has decided to double the pensions given to people under the social security schemes besides hiking the honorarium of ‘Nambardars’

Mr. Badal said in an initiative to provide better health care services to economically weaker sections of the society, the state government has decided to enhance the existing limit of free treatment in government and private hospitals to nearly 28.50 lakh blue card holders from Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 50,000 annually under ‘Bhagat Puran Singh Sehat Beema Yojna’

He also said Rs. 540 crore arrears has been already paid to sugarcane growers by government, besides arranging Rs. 200 crore loan to private sugar mills for sugarcane arrears.

Mr. Badal said State government has also decided to give Rs. 295 per quintal for sugar cane against Rs. 220 fixed by the Centre.

“State government was providing free power to farmers of the state at a cost of Rs. 5000 crore every year,” the Chief Minister. - PTI

“Declaring a village as a unit for crop insurance would hardly fulfil the basic spirit of the scheme”

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