Rohtak Farmers Struggle for Crop Loss Relief Under PMFBY
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Delhi: A total of 3,378 farmers from Rohtak district have filed complaints regarding the non-disbursement of insurance compensation under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna (PMFBY) for the crop losses they experienced during the rabi season of 2022, The Tribune reported.
These affected farmers have reported that they timely notified the insurance company about their crop losses, and subsequent surveys were conducted to assess the extent of damage sustained by their crops. However, despite these efforts, they are yet to receive the compensation to which they are entitled.
Sources indicated to The Tribune that the contract with the private insurance company responsible for crop insurance under the PMFBY, which spanned three years, has recently concluded. Subsequently, a new insurance company has taken over these responsibilities.
Sumit, the general secretary of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) 's state unit, told the newspaper that the farmers were frustrated and had been actively pursuing their rightful compensation through visits to various government offices. He noted that the change in company administration has led to a lack of accessibility to officials from the previous insurer.
Responding to these concerns, Rohtak Deputy Commissioner Ajay Kumar affirmed that the issue was discussed during a meeting of the district-level monitoring committee for PMFBY on Monday. Representatives from Bajaj Allianz, the outgoing insurance company, were directed to expedite the settlement of outstanding dues owed to the farmers.
"Company officials have indicated that the processing of farmers' claims is underway. A follow-up review meeting is scheduled in 10 days to evaluate the progress in this matter," Kumar told The Tribune.
He reportedly cautioned the insurance company representatives against unwarranted rejection of farmers' claims.
Meanwhile, Deputy Director (Agriculture) Mahavir Singh said that the concerns of the farmers will be addressed through close collaboration with insurance company officials.
Earlier, NewsClick reported from the ground on the issues faced by farmers, especially in Haryana, concerning the PMFBY. Continuous unseasonal rains and hailstorms have caused widespread destruction of standing crops across the country, including wheat, mustard, potato, onion, and chilli. Farmers in Haryana have been grappling with significant losses, seeking government assistance. However, the PMFBY, aimed at providing relief to farmers, is criticised by farmer organisations for benefiting insurance companies more than farmers.
This claim finds backing in the data presented by Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in Parliament last year. According to the data, insurance companies made a surplus or savings of over Rs 40,000 crore from 2016-2017 to 2021-2022. It also revealed that the companies paid claims worth Rs 11,9,314 crore against the deposited premium of Rs 15,9,132 crore.
Farmers have been agitating across the country at different times regarding this problem. Farmers on contract farming agreements are also affected, as they lack access to compensation and loans. The scheme's inadequacy and lack of focus on contract farmers are also crucial issues that farmer leaders have highlighted.
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