To provide relief to farmers hit by demonetisation, the government today extended the window for insuring 2016-17 rabi (winter) crops till January 10 from December 31.
The deadline to take insurance policy for both loanee and non-loanee farmers from banks for rabi crops under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) expires tomorrow.
“It has been brought to the notice of this department that stakeholders, including farmers and banks/financial institutions, are facing difficulties… under PMFBY during 2016-17 rabi season due to demonetisation of old currency notes… it has been decided to extend up to January 10, 2017,” the agriculture ministry said in a directive issued to banks, insurers and state governments.
Now, the farmers who could not insure their crops due to demonetisation will get time till January 10.
More time has been given to non-loanee farmers to submit the application and premium to the bank. Also, banks have been given additional time to debit the premium and send to insurance companies, it said.
The ministry said that the cut-off date has been extended considering the situation as a “special case.”
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The state governments have been asked to take appropriate action regarding extension of cut-off date and inform all stakeholders, it added.
“This may, however, be treated as a one-time extension only,” the directive said.
Around 167.47 lakh farmers had taken crop insurance in the rabi season of 2015-16. The government hopes that more farmers will enrol under the new PMFBY launched early this year with better features.
In the kharif season of 2016-17, as many as 374.13 lakh farmers had insured their crops and the sum insured was Rs 1,41,487 crore. The cut-off date was extended even during the kharif season of this year.
Under PMFBY, farmers pay very nominal premium and get full claim for their crop damage.