18 May, 2021

Chinks In The Calamity Shield

The many slips between crop insurance and its beneficiaries

Illustration by Sajith Kumar
Chinks In The Calamity Shield

One year after the repackaged central crop-insurance scheme Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) became operational, several shortcomings, particularly in implementation, are leading to delays in compensation ­payment to distressed farmers. The rising number of farmers’ suicides shows that the PMFBY, which subsumed all previous schemes, has failed to address many ­systemic lacunae.

“The scheme is good, but a mechanism has to be in place for timely implementation and payment of compensation,” says Dr Panjab Singh, president of the Natio­nal Academy of Agricultural Sciences. “It has to address what we project and propose to see that all the issues are covered within a fixed time span. This includes assessment of crop and damage to be compensated for.”

Echoes Mohini Mohan Mishra, national secretary of RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), “The government is projecting much more than what is being implemented. It is still a pilot project and not a full-fledged scheme.”

On the positive side, Mishra...

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