MUMBAI: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Friday questioned the categorisation of 90 lakh Maharashtra farmers as ineligible for the Prime Minister's Crop Insurance Scheme and impugned the parameters used to declare them so.
He also asked the government to ensure companies give insurance compensation to farmers from drought and flood-hit areas of the state or it should take back money paid as premium to the private players and distribute it among the peasants.
Speaking to reporters here, Thackeray said under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), farmers pay 2 per cent of the premium amount, while 98 per cent is paid by the government.
He claimed that after the Shiv Sena raised concerns over improper disbursal of insurance compensation to farmers, companies disbursed Rs 960 crore to 10 lakh peasants.
"After 90 lakh farmers were categorised as ineligible, around Rs 2000 crore, which was to be disbursed to farmers, is still lying with the insurance companies," Thackeray said.
"The question is who decided the farmers are not eligible? What were the parameters?" Thackeray asked.
He further said the companies should be given their share of profit, but the money meant for farmers must be disbursed to them.
"Farmers must be given crop insurance compensation. In case that does not happen, the government must take back the money paid to insurance companies and distribute it to the farmers through its own mechanism," he added.
Thackeray said the scheme was conceived with good intention, but its flaws must be corrected.
Thackeray said the Shiv Sena will again stage protests in case farmers did not get compensation.