Kiran Choudhry, Leader of the Haryana Congress Legislature Party (CLP), has punched several holes in the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) notified by the BJP Government, led by the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Lal Khattar, and demanded some vital changes to plug them, and make the scheme farmer-friendly, not insurance companies-friendly which it is.In a statement issued here today, the former Excise and Taxation Minister said the scheme allowed the insurer not to pay compensation on account of certain losses. “Under the PMFBY, heat wave, cold wave and frost are not covered as natural calamity for insurance purposes, which account for huge losses during both kharif and rabi seasons in the state. Denying the farmers compensation for looses due to natural calamities amounts to cheating and robbing them of their due, she said.
Mrs Choudhry asked why involve insurance companies in the distribution of direct subsidy to the farmers the Centre and the state government planned to do under the scheme? This is being done to benefit the insurance firms, not the farmers, she alleged.Moreover, the scheme took the area approach in determining an insurance unit which would be the revenue estate (village). “This is a big flaw. For example, if a farmer having three to four acres, suffers total damage to crops due to natural calamity in a part of the village while his peers turn out to be lucky, why he should be denied compensation? Make acre an insurance unit, not village”, she demanded.Also, the crops to be covered under the scheme include cotton, paddy, bajra and maize during Kharif 2016 and wheat, barley, mustard and gram during Rabi 2016-17. Why not bring cash crops under the cover, especially when the state government is encouraging the farmers to break free from the traditional crops cycle, grow cash crops to earn more, she asked.“The BJP Government which does not tire of swearing by the farmers must live up to its credentials and amend the scheme to favour the farmers, not insurance companies”, Mrs Choudhry said.