2.63L farmers in K'taka yet to get 2019 flood insurance

2.63 lakh farmers in Karnataka yet to get 2019 flood insurance

The government has settled claims worth Rs 221.57 crore, while pending claims were worth Rs 303.04 crore

Representative image. Credit: PTI Photo

More than a year after the devastating floods of 2019, 2.63 lakh farmers are yet to receive insurance cover for crop loss suffered during the year under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana in the state.

According to government data, 4.93 lakh farmers were eligible for insurance claims for crop loss suffered during the 2019 monsoon season. However, claims were settled in only 2.3 lakh cases. Apart from these cases, over 61,000 claims between 2016-17 and 2018-19 worth Rs 110.7 crore are still pending at various government levels.

Farmer organisations have accused the government of using up the funds meant for insurance claims, adding to the distress caused by floods. Authorities have assured that claims will be disbursed soon in phases. Sources, meanwhile, blame the delay in tallying crop survey data with 'Samrakshane' - crop insurance portal of the state government, as one of the main causes.

For losses suffered for Khariff crop in monsoon 2019, the government calculated insurance claims of Rs 524.62 crore under the Yojana. The government has settled claims worth Rs 221.57 crore, while pending claims were worth Rs 303.04 crore. A total of 61,955 insurance claims of farmers in three years between 2016-17 and 2018-19 were yet to be released.

Crop survey data of the khariff season last year is yet to be mapped with Samrakshane portal, a multi-department exercise ending in direct benefit transfer of crop insurance. In some cases, farmers had already sowed a different crop when crop survey took place, which led to complications in claiming insurance. The government has sought exemption from insurance companies for such cases, along with cases of mixed cropping, inter-cropping and others, sources told DH.

Once the portal is streamlined, claims will be debited at a quicker pace. Moreover, there are also issues such as submission of wrong Aadhaar number or bank account details, which has affected the scheme, sources added.

Viresh Sobaradhmath of Karnataka Rait Sena said that they had petitioned district administrations to ensure timely release of insurance claims. "Many farmers in the Krishna basin, who suffered losses during floods last year are yet to receive the insurance cover under the scheme," he said, alleging that state government had used up the funds meant for insurance claims causing the delay.

BY Srinivas, director, Agriculture Department said that the claims were being released in stages. Some technical issues had affected the scheme, which are being sorted out, he said.