Farmers stage a dharna outside the Mini-Secretariat in Bhiwani on Monday. Photo: Indervesh Duhan
Tribune News Service
Bhiwani, October 10
Of 4 lakh farmer families in the district, only 29 have voluntarily applied for the crop insurance scheme — Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) — started by the Union government.
Nearly 69,292 other insurances done by the Agriculture Department in the district were of the farmers who had sought loan from various government and private banks.
According to the Agriculture Department, the district has 3,86,500 hectares of cultivable land and according to the PMFBY, they have to cover all cultivable land under the insurance scheme to secure farmers.
An official of the Agriculture Department said that four crops namely bajra, cotton, paddy and maize were covered under the scheme and all farmers who had grown these crops should have been covered, but it did not generate good response due to poor economic conditions.
The scheme was to be implemented under two modes, he said. The first one was direct mode, wherein farmers could voluntary get themselves insured and the other one was indirect mode, wherein premium was deducted by banks of Kisan Credit Card (KCC) loanee farmers, he added.
The premium collected under the scheme from 29 farmers was Rs 51,486 for all four crops, while an amount of Rs 9 crore was collected from the farmers under the indirect mode through banks.
Sources said that the district Agriculture Department and banks had been flooded with complaints from farmers regarding deduction of the premium from the KCC account without their consent.
Meanwhile, farmers under the banner of the Sanyukth Kisan Morcha have been sitting on a dharna outside the Mini-Secretariat here since August 22, seeking rollback of the PMFBY and implementation of the MS Swaminathan Commission report.
Kisan Sabha state president Master Sher Singh said that the scheme had not gained ground in the district as farmers were already reeling under huge debts and they had no money to pay premiums.
He demanded that the government should bear the entire cost and compensate them when needed.