Insurance firms to reap Rs 232-crore kharif profit

The insurance companies authorised by the state government to insure crops under the Prime Minister Fasal Bima Yojna (PMFBY) will have windfall profits of over Rs 230 crore for this year’s kharif crops.

The companies received Rs 252.35 crore as premium, but sources said that the tentative amount they would have to pay as claims to farmers was less than Rs 20 crore.

As per the official figures, a total of 11.47 lakh hectares of land belonging to 6,92,029 farmers was covered under the scheme for the kharif crops this year in the state with a total sum insured being Rs 6,723.06 crore.

The insurance companies recovered Rs 123.55 crore as premium from farmers, Rs 83.54 crore from the state government and Rs 45.26 crore from the Central government (total Rs 252.35 crore).Of this, Rs 118.61 crore went to the insurance companies as premium for insurance of paddy, Rs 117.11 crore for cotton, Rs 16.39 crore for bajra and Rs 24.59 lakh for maize crop.

But when it came to paying claims for the damage caused to crops, the insurance companies are alleged to have whittled down their compensation to less than Rs 20 crore.

The insurance companies are hand in glove with the BJP government and have been denying genuine claims of the farmers on one pretext or the other, alleged Prahlad Singh Bharukhera, president of the Haryana Kisan Manch.

Former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who had opposed the PMFBY when it was launched in the state, said that farmers would not get even Rs 20 crore because of the lopsided terms and conditions of the insurance companies.

The scheme is not in the interest of the farmers. I have been maintaining from the beginning that the BJP government is working as an agent of the insurance companies.

Insurance scheme cannot be forced without the consent of the parties, but the PMFBY has been imposed on farmers without their willingness, Hooda alleged.

Agriculture Minister OP Dhankar, however, maintained that claims were always dependent upon the actual loss and there was nothing unusual in it.

In Madhya Pradesh, insurance companies will have to pay Rs 4,400 crore as claims to farmers this time.

In Haryana, farmers have reaped a bumper crop this time as 7 crore quintals of paddy has already arrived in grain markets, Dhankar maintained.

The minister said that in the last two years, the state government paid Rs 1,092 crore as compensation for loss due to hailstorms and Rs 995 crore as compensation for whitefly attack on cotton.

He said one out of six crops suffered damage, as per the government’s estimates.Dhankar said that the government would opt for the PMFBY for the upcoming rabi crop, too, for which the farmers would have to pay 1.5 per cent of the sum insured as premium.

Curated from Insurance firms to reap Rs 232-crore kharif profit

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