In a bid to roll out Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), several states, including Uttarakhand, West Bengal and Jharkhand, have floated tenders for empaneling insurance companies who would be implementing the Centre\u2019s mega crop insurance scheme from the next kharif season. Agriculture ministry sources told FE that Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha and Haryana too are expected to float tenders shortly for empanelment of 10 private companies including ICICI-Lombard General Insurance, HDFC-ERGO General Insurance, IFFCO-Tokio General Insurance and SBI General Insurance, identified by the Centre for implementation of the mega scheme. After the empanelment, the insurance company would offer crop insurance to those crops for which past yield data is available. The agriculture ministry official said that during the next few weeks, more states would commence work for rolling out PMFBY and Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS) whose premium have been brought at par with PMFBY. PMFBY stipulates a uniform premium of 2% to be paid by farmers for kharif crops, and 1.5% for rabi crops. The premium for annual commercial and horticultural crops will be capped at 5%. Officials said there is no upper limit on the government\u2019s subsidy for this scheme. \u201cThe provision of capping the premium rate, which existed in earlier schemes, and resulted in low claims being paid to farmers, has been done away with,\u201d an official said. The official said farmers will get claims against the full sum insured, without any reduction. Besides, because of delay in crop cutting exercise which was time consuming, the new crop insurance scheme would use of technology like smart phones for capturing and uploading data on crop cutting for fastening the claim payment exercise. Besides, remote sensing satellite would be used to reduce the number of crop cutting experiments. For dealing with delay in settlement of compensation, the new crop insurance policy proposes immediate payment of 25% of the sum insured amount to farmers for crop damage. \u201cThe expansion of the crop insurance scheme would depend on the number of farmers voluntarily opting for it. Lower premium rates might encourage more farmers to take up crop insurance,\u201d Ajay Vir Jakhar, chairman, Bharat Krishak Samaj, said. From April 1, the government has discontinued the existing National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) & Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (MNAIS).