The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the revamping of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) and Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBCIS), making enrolment under both schemes voluntary for all farmers; increasing premium subsidy to 90 per cent for states in the Northeast from existing sharing pattern of 50:50; and provisioning of at least 3 per cent of total allocation of scheme for administrative expenses.
Briefing the media on the Cabinet decisions, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar said, “Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana has been made voluntary. Till now, crop insurance was mandatory for loanee [borrower] farmers, whose number has been about 58 per cent. The percentage of non-loanee farmers was around 42, which was only 5 per cent before 2015. Some of the states, farmers and farmers’ organisations felt that the scheme should be made voluntary. Therefore, the Union Cabinet today decided to make it voluntary.”
The changes, proposed to be implemented from 2020 Kharif season, also include allocation of business to insurance companies to be done for three years for both schemes, and use of technological solutions such as Smart Sampling Technique (SST) and optimisation of the number of Crop Cutting Experiments.
In the revised PMFBY, states will not to be allowed to implement the scheme in subsequent seasons in case of considerable delay by states in release of requisite premium subsidy to insurance companies concerned beyond a prescribed time limit.
“Cut-off dates for invoking this provision for Kharif and Rabi seasons will be March 31 and September 30 of successive years, respectively” for both PMFBY and RWBCIS, according to a statement, released after the Cabinet meeting. “Central share in premium subsidy to be increased to 90% for North Eastern States from the existing sharing pattern of 50:50 (Both PMFBY/RWBCIS),” it said.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved a new central sector scheme — Formation and Promotion of Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) — to form and promote 10,000 FPOs to be formed in five years from 2019-20 to 2023-24. The Centre had announced creation of 10,000 new FPOs in 2019-20 Union Budget.
According to a statement, the Cabinet has approved total budgetary provision of Rs 4,496 crore for five years (2019-20 to 2023-24) with further committed liability of Rs 2,369 crore for the period from 2024-25 to 2027-28 towards handholding of each FPO for five years from its aggregation and formation.
The Cabinet also approved Phase-II of Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) till 2024-25. It aims to focus on Open Defecation-Free Plus, which includes ODF sustainability and Solid and Liquid Waste Management.
“SBM (G) Phase-II will also be implemented from 2020-21 to 2024-25 in a mission mode with a total outlay of Rs. 1,40,881 crores… Of this Rs.52,497 crore will be allocated from the budget of Drinking Water and Sanitation; the remaining amount will be dovetailed from funds being released under 15th Finance Commission, MGNREGS and revenue generation models, particularly for solid and liquid waste management,” according to a statement.
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