Govt to look into plaints against crop insurance firms

Govt to look into plaints against crop insurance firms

The state government on Friday agreed to enquire into complaints on crop insurance companies duping farmers, following a suggestion by Legislative Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar.

Arasikere MLA K M Shivalinge Gowda (JD-S) who raised the issue in the Assembly claimed that a large number of farmers who had deposited their hard-earned money as a premium to insure their crops under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana had been cheated.  

Insurance companies which took the premium did not pay compensation for crop losses suffered by farmers. He claimed the insurance companies were hand-in-glove with panchayat development officials and rejected applications by farmers for compensation, saying they were not eligible for the claims.

Gowda gave some instances from his home district of Hassan. The Arasikere MLA was supported by members cutting across party lines. M Chandrappa (BJP) said farmers in Chitradurga district had deposited a total premium of Rs 121 crore in 2017-18 but were paid compensation of only Rs 21 crore, despite suffering huge crop losses.

Leader of the Opposition B S Yeddyurappa said Karnataka was facing one of the worst droughts in history and all efforts should be made to protect the interest of farmers. Agriculture Minister N H Shivashankar Reddy said his department will look into the complaints

“Crop insurance firms are run like business houses. Take your officials into confidence. Let there be an enquiry and a report within one month,” he said. Reddy agreed and said the enquiry will be ordered soon.