The Centre has decided to extend the last date to August 10 for enrolling in Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, aimed at enabling farmers to avail insurance cover against crop loss due to natural calamities.
The last date for enrolling as member of the Yojana was July 31 and it has been extended to August 10, Union Minister for Agriculture Radha Mohan Singh told reporters during a video press conference from New Delhi.
Singh wanted all states to co-operate in implementing the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), which was introduced in January last.
The government’s objective is to increase the number of insured farmers from the present 20 per cent to 50 per cent in the next two to three years time, he said.
Singh said the scheme would enable farmers to have a crop insurance by paying the lowest premium.
The balance premium amount would be borne by the Centre and states. Farmers would get full financial security. There would be no capping on the premium rates and no reduction in the sum, he said.
A total of 22 states have come forward to implement the scheme. An amount of Rs 5,500 crore has been earmarked for the scheme in the 2016-17 budget for the scheme, he said.
For foodgrains, pulses and oilseeds, there will be one season and one premium rate for farmers under the scheme. Different rates for different crops for different districts, which was prevailing earlier, have been removed, Singh said.
For the first time, risk of post harvest losses upto 14 days occurring due to cyclone, non-seasonal rain and local calamities such as hailstorm and landslips have been included for coverage across the country, he said.
To a question, Singh said in Kerala, the process of implementing the scheme was on and the response of the state government was very good.
The tender process to select the insurance company to implement the scheme in Kerala was completed in June, he said.
Smart phones will be used to capture and upload data of crop cutting to reduce delays in claim payment to farmer and to check misuse of the scheme, the Union Minister said, adding the claim amount would be transfered through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).