Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday launched a ‘DigiClaim’ platform under the national crop insurance portal for speedy disbursal of claims to insured farmers. On the occasion, the Minister also transferred an insurance claim totaling Rs 1,260.35 crore through the DigiClaim platform to the insured farmers in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand and Haryana with a click of a button, an official statement said.
In the current system, there have been several instances of insured farmers’ claims being delayed due to a variety of factors. Taking cognizance of farmers’ welfare and to expedite the claim disbursal process, the Agriculture Ministry has come up with the DigiClaim module, it said.
Tomar said: “It is a matter of pride for our ministry to have taken a revolutionary step in ensuring that farmers can receive claim amounts digitally in a time bound and automated manner, thereby making our farmers Aatmanirbhar and Sashakt.” Till date, Rs 1.32 lakh crore claim has been disbursed to the insured farmers under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), he added.
Stating that the Centre is closely working with all states who exited from the PMFBY, the Minister said the government has had discussions with senior officials of the state governments. Andhra Pradesh and Punjab governments are making a comeback to the scheme, which shows a shining example of cooperative federalism.
Telangana, Gujarat, Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand have also been approached to rejoin the PMFBY and several discussions have been underway. Out of these states, Telangana and Jharkhand have indicated their willingness to come back under PMFBY, he added.
With the DigiClaim platform, now farmers’ claims will be processed directly to their respective bank accounts in a transparent and accountable manner. This technology has been enabled through the integration of National Crop Insurance Portal (NCIP) and Public Finance Management System (PFMS).
This would directly impact the claim reversal ratio, which is expected to go down with DigiClaim. Another noteworthy feature of this digital advancement is that farmers would be able to track the claim settlement process on their mobile phones in real-time and avail the scheme’s benefits.
Agriculture Secretary Manoj Ahuja also appealed to state governments for timely uploading of yield data on the crop insurance portal and release of the states’ share of premium on time so that claims could be transferred to farmers’ bank accounts in a hassle-free manner.
Uttar Pradesh Agriculture Minister Surya Pratap Shahi, who joined the launch via video conference, also gave his valuable suggestions for better implementation of the scheme.
The minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Choudhary and CMDs of Agriculture Insurance Company of India Ltd and SBI General Insurance as well as representatives of other public and private insurance companies were also present at the occasion.
In the era of rapid innovations, digitization and technology are playing a significant role in scaling up the reach and operations of PMFBY with precision agriculture.
In the last few years, various innovative technologies have been piloted and integrated with the scheme to make the process of yield estimation and crop loss assessment more accurate, like Yes-Tech, WINDS and CROPIC.
Further, for timely redressal of farmers’ grievances, Farmer Grievance Portal has been launched in the first phase for the state of Chhattisgarh, which has received a plethora of positive responses and in the second phase, it will be implemented in the entire country.
DigiClaim is yet another feather in PMFBY’s cap in its ongoing effort to usher in advanced technological solutions such as automated calculation and disbursement of crop insurance claims.