The Union Finance Minister Aurn Jaitley on 22 March 2016 launched the crop insurance scheme Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bhima Yojana in Mumbai.
The revamped scheme is aimed at reducing distress in the farm sector and to boost the agricultural sector in the country.
On this occassion, the Minister also launched the NABARD Agri-Credit Monitoring portal to help financial institutions to monitor the status of agricultural loans given to farmer and unveiled the Roadmap of E-Shakti Expansion Programme of digitization of Self-Help Groups (SHGs).
Features of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bhima Yojana
• To avail the scheme, farmers will pay a uniform premium of only 2 percent for all Kharif crops and 1.5 percent for all Rabi crops.
• In case of annual commercial and horticultural crops, farmers will pay a premium of only 5 percent.
• The balance premium, after farmers paying the premium at very low rate, will be paid by the Government to provide full insured amount to the farmers against crop loss on account of natural calamities.
• There will not be any upper limit on Government subsidy. Even if balance premium is 90 percent, it will be borne by the Government.
Significance of the scheme
• Compared to the previous agriculture insurance schemes, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bhima Yojana is significant due to the following reasons -
• Under the previous agriculture insurance schemes, there was a provision of capping the premium rate which resulted in low claims being paid to farmers. This capping limited the Government outgo on the premium subsidy.
• Now, this capping was removed and farmers will get full sum insured without any reduction against their claim. Also, farmers will have to pay much lower premiums compared to the previous schemes.
• While formulating the scheme, localized risks, including post harvest losses were also taken into account to ensure no farmer is alone in times of distress.
• The usage of technology will be encouraged to a great extent. Smart phones will be used to capture and upload data of crop cutting to reduce the delays in claim payment to farmers.
• Remote sensing technology will also be deployed to reduce the number of crop cutting experiments.
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What: Launched by Arun Jaitley
When: 22 March 2016