Govt launches 'historic' agricultural scheme; lowest premium since independent India

| Wednesday, January 13, 2016 - 21:43
First Published |
Govt launches new insurance plan for farmers
In a bid to alleviate urban poverty and to reduce the many-faceted hardships of the Indian farmers, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on a cabinet briefing today launched the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna. 
Calling it a historic decision taken by the Narendra Modi government, Rajnath Singh said that the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna (PMFBY) insurance will work as a protective shield for farmers and it will also ensure that the farmer's family is not left in an environment of uncertainty. 
The Union Home Minister said that even though insurances such as the National Agricultural Insurance Scheme had been introduced before, the insurance coverage in the entire country had not risen above 23%. 
The most notable fact in the new agricultural insurance is that that the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojna will boast the lowest premium ever to be booked in the history of Independent India. 
"Low premium and high insurance," stressed the Union Home Minister. 
Through the new agricultural scheme, Rajnath Singh said that even during times of global economic recession, Indian farmers will not be affected in any way. The minister said that due to erratic weathers which destroyed crops, farmers were being pushed to suicide. 
Under PMFBY, the farmers are required to pay a uniform premium of two percent for all Kharif crops and 1.5 percent for all Rabi crops while it is five percent for annual commercial and horticultural crops.
"The premium rates to be paid by farmers are very low and balance premium will be paid by the government to provide full insured amount to the farmers against crop loss on account of natural calamities," the statement said.
With no upper cap on government subsidy, even if the balance premium is 90 percent, the government will bear it.
Farmer suicides in India have increased in an alarming rate mainly due to the lack of financial assurance to the farmers and the farmers dependency on the erratice monsoon weather. Subsidies on the agricultural products used by the farmers are also contributing factors to the plight of the Indian farmer. 
(With inputs from IANS)
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