NEW DELHI: The number of farmers receiving benefits under government’s flagship crop insurance scheme Prime Minister Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) has reduced drastically over last two years, reveals data available with the Union ministry of agriculture.
While 1.54 crore farmers benefitted in Kharif season, 2017, the corresponding number reduced nearly by half to 80 lakh farmers in 2018.
Moreover, insurance companies have come out as major beneficiaries under the scheme, as against the gross premium of Rs 20,923 crore, claims have been made for only Rs 10,247 crore.
The data further reveals that around 1.08 crore farmers benefitted in Kharif season in 2016 and the number increased to 1.54 lakh in Kharif, 2017.
However, in Kharif 2018, the number of beneficiary farmers reduced drastically to nearly 80 lakh.
Agriculture and policy expert Devinder Sharma said that difficulty in getting claims and a lower amount of claims made in many cases are some of the main reasons behind the reduction in the number of beneficiaries.
“In many cases, farmers are getting paltry sums as claims. Farmers in many regions have got claims in hundreds or a few thousands. Moreover, they have to wait longer and the process becomes tedious, often putting the farmers off,” he said.
Sharma said, “Private companies should have nothing to do with the scheme. Once that’s done, I’m sure more farmers will register themselves with the scheme.”