Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today hailed the new crop insurance scheme announced by the Centre as "path-breaking" and said it will now enable individual small farmers to get full compensation in case of crop damage.
The new insurance scheme (Pradhanmantri Fassal Bima Yojana) will offer insurance at a very low premium so that even small farmers can afford it, he told reporters at 'Mantralaya' (state secretariat) here.
"Over the next three years the aim is to enhance the coverage of the area under the scheme from present 23 per cent to 50 per cent of the gross cropped area," he said. He added that the 11 per cent cap on premium which led to farmers getting very less amount in hand has been done away with.
"Henceforth, the farmers will get full crop insurance. The scheme will be implemented from 2016 Khariff crop season. The insurance premium for Khariff crop is just 2 per cent and for Rabi crop it is just 1.5 per cent," he added.
According to the Chief Minister, now the Centre will allocate 90 per cent of the funds as against the earlier practise of Centre and state equal sharing of 50 per cent.
Fadnavis further said that crop damage due to inundation as localised calamity with hailstorm and landslide for individual farm level assessment.
"Farmers who have not applied for crop loans will be eligible for insurance. The rate of insurance cover will be uniform all over the country and that claims will have to be settled by insurance companies within 30
days," he said.
The Chief Minister said henceforth the farmers will be allowed to use smart mobile phone technology to click pictures of the crop damage and upload them on the crop insurance portal.
"The insurance companies will verify and release the insurance amount. In the case of partial damage to crop, the farmers will get insurance for the farm area that has been damaged," Fadnavis added.
According to him, both the insurance companies and government will conduct the survey of the affected farm areas. "The Centre is to bear the financial burden of Rs 8,800 crore for the first year," he said.
The Centre today cleared a crop insurance scheme under which farmers' premium has been kept at a maximum of 2 per cent for foodgrains and oilseeds and up to 5 per cent for horticulture/cotton crops.