Bhubaneswar: Lakhs of Odisha farmers are affected by the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) across Bargarh, Sambalpur, Sonepur, Deogarh, Bolangir, Nuapada and Kalahandi districts, said BJD spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Dr. Sasmit Patra.
In a statement, Patra said that over the past five years, Rs 1.26 lakh crore have been paid as crop insurance premium across India and Rs 87,320 crore received as claims.
The insurance companies made Rs. 40,000 crores of PMFBY money, affecting the interests of the farmers.
In Odisha, the State Government has paid Rs. 3250.48 crore so far and Odisha farmers have paid Rs. 1009.84 Crores to the insurance companies so far, he said.
Adding the Centre’s share, the total payment is Rs. 7510.8 crore till Kharif 2021.
Till Kharif 2020, the total premium paid to insurance companies was Rs. 6163.28 crore while the payment by the insurance companies to claims of farmers was Rs. 5098.64 crore. Thus, the Insurance companies profited to an amount of Rs. 1064.64 crore, which is 17.27% of the total Premium paid.
In Odisha between 2018-2020, farmers filed crop insurance claims of Rs. 2090 crore but insurance companies paid only 50% of those claims amounting to Rs. 1026 crore.
The farmers of Odisha are facing repeated harassment by the insurance companies relating to the assessment of their claims and payment under PMFBY, the BJD leader stated.
Six states namely Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Telangana and West Bengal have opted out of PMFBY and total area insured has also gone down by 73 lakh hectares (from 567 lakh hectare in 2016-17 to 495 lakh hectare in 2019-20).
It is high time that the Union Government rectifies these issues and help the farmers in times of distress. It should use new technological innovations such as drones to clear assessment of claims expeditiously and allow only Government insurance companies to undertake PMFBY in order to safeguard the interests of the farmers, he added.