The government Sunday claimed that the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana has improved upon the previous insurance schemes by trying to bring more non-loanee farmers under its coverage. Non-loanee farmers are those who have never taken a loan.
“Hardly 5 per cent of non-loanee farmers were covered in the earlier schemes. A lot of focus has been given on coverage of these farmers and in the first year of implementation, they accounted for 133 lakh out of the total 574 lakh insured farmers, about 23 per cent. This very encouraging,” said a government source. The Comptroller and Auditor General, in its observations on the crop insurance taken by farmers between 2012-13 and 2015-16, had said it was “more a loan insurance than a crop insurance” scheme.
The Narendra Modi government launched the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana early last year to replace the previous National Agricultural Insurance Scheme and its modified form. The government source cited statistics regarding the payout to farmers in drought-hit regions to suggest that the Yojana was turning out to be effective.
“At the micro-level, the claims payout is reflective of the actual local crop loss. This can be seen in districts such as Mandya, (claims 630 per cent of premium), Chitradurga (408 per cent), Mysuru (406 per cent) in Karnataka. In Tamil Nadu, the claims are higher than premium collected in virtually all the districts,” the source claimed, citing 2016-17 data to suggest the efficacy of the Yojana.