Insurance schemes under implementation not scientific, says the CM
Describing the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana of the Central Government as bogus, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao said that there was a need for major reforms in the crop insurance schemes to ensure that farmers were benefited.
“Fasal Bima Yojana being implemented by the Centre is bogus. The scheme is not scientific. How will the farmer benefit if area is taken as a unit in the insurance scheme,” he said. The Chief Minister took a dig at the Centre for not implementing farmer and farm-centric schemes that were recommended by experts like M.S. Swaminathan from time to time.
Farmers too were not interested in taking insurance schemes as they were not getting any benefits even after payment of the premiums. “It is a peculiar situation. Implementation of crop insurance schemes comes up in every session of Parliament. The very system is wrong and there is a need for reforms in the process,” he said participating in the discussion on crop losses suffered due to recent rains which figured during the Question Hour in the Legislative Assembly on Friday.
On the implementation of PMFBY, he said the Centre had recently brought in amendments to the scheme and made it optional, not mandatory. Coupled with this was its refusal to procure foodgrains, paddy in particular, from the farmers.
The Centre was entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining buffer stocks to meet the demand when States were faced with drought situation and the Food Corporation of India was set up for the purpose. “It is not time for blame game. The Centre made joining the PMFBY optional and it is also moving away from its responsibility of procuring food grain. I took the matter to the notice of the Ministers concerned during my recent visit to New Delhi,” he said.
Responding to queries of members on the relief measures being taken for farmers who suffered crop losses during the recent heavy rains, he said the government had directed the District Collectors to prepare comprehensive reports on the losses in accordance with the norms. These reports would be sent to Centre once they were submitted requesting immediate assistance as well as financial support for long term needs.
“The Centre will not release funds immediately. Teams will be deputed. In some instances, farmers will start cultivating the next crop by the time the teams visit the State,” he said.
Floods in twin cities
The Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao criticised the Centre for not responding to the State’s request to extend financial assistance to cover the losses caused due to flood in the twin cities last year.
The State prepared a detailed report on the losses to the tune of ₹8,000 crore suffered because of the flood, but there had been no response from the Centre so far. “We have submitted report for ₹8,000 crore. Not even ₹8 has been released by the Centre for disaster management,” he said. He lamented that the Centre had not even deputed a team of officials to assess the losses.
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