Govt unveils new crop insurance scheme

Govt unveils new crop insurance scheme

 Going all out to woo farmers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday unveiled a new crop insurance policy which can be availed by farmers by paying a token premium.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), which will be rolled out from the kharif season beginning June, farmers across the country will have to pay a uniform premium of two per cent for all kharif crops and 1.5 per cent for all the rabi crops to shield their farm income from the vagaries of nature.

The flagship initiative is expected to cost the exchequer Rs 8,800 crore when it is implemented fully by 2018-19.

The PMFBY replaces the National Agricultural Insurance Scheme and Modified National Agriculture Insurance Scheme under which farmers had to pay premium between 15 per cent and 57 per cent to insure crop depending on risky crop and areas. The PMFBY has been unveiled at a time when Modi is under attack from the opposition for ignoring the agriculture sector which has been facing the brunt of unseasonal rainfall and two successive droughts.

That the government was seriously wooing the farmers was evident as three senior ministers – Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and Agriculture Minister Radhamohan Singh – briefed the media about the scheme that was approved by the Union Cabinet. Modi also posted a series of tweets to share the key features of the scheme.

The PMFBY has expanded the insurance cover to crop loss due to hailstorm, land slide and inundation of farms, Modi said adding the scheme would also extend to post-harvest losses due to cyclonic and unseasonal rains.

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