Claims of over Rs. 1.5 lakh crores paid to farmers under PM Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) in 8 years

Claims of over Rs. 1.5 lakh crores paid to farmers under PM Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) in 8 years

In the past eight years of implementation of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) – 56.80 crore farmer applications have been enrolled and over 23.22 crore farmer applicants received claims. During this period, nearly Rs. 31,139 crores were paid by farmers as their share of premium against which claims of over Rs. 1,55,977 crores have been paid to them. Thus, for every 100 rupees of premium paid by farmers, they have received about Rs. 500 as claims, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare informed today about the Government of India’s flagship crop insurance scheme.

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) is a demand-driven scheme and is voluntary for the states as well as farmers. The number of farmer applications has grown 33.4 per cent and 41 per cent year-on-year during 2021-22 and 2022-23, respectively. Further, during the year 2023-24, there is an increase of 27 per cent in terms of farmers enrolled under the scheme so far. Also, 42 per cent of total farmers insured under the scheme in FY 2023-24 are non-loanee farmers, the Ministry further informed.

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The third largest insurance scheme globally in terms of premium, the PM Fasal Bima Yojana launched in 2016, shields farmers from crop loss or damage arising out of unforeseen events. The PMFBY is successfully fulfilling the objectives of the scheme including providing financial support to stabilise the income of farmers, especially in natural calamity-hit seasons/years/areas. PMBFY is a Central sector scheme, therefore, no state/UT-wise allocation and release is made under the scheme.

The scheme is regularly reviewed in consultation with stakeholders especially to address the challenges faced in its operational implementation. The major improvements made include making the scheme voluntary for all farmers, compulsory use of at least 0.5 per cent of the gross premium collected by insurance companies for Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities; intensive use of technology, change in financial sharing pattern from 50: 50 between Central and state government in the north-eastern region (NER) to 90:10; long term i.e. 3 year contract to insurance companies; freedom to states to choose risk cover as per requirements and use of technology, the Agriculture Ministry said.

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The Department of Agriculture & Family Welfare is regularly monitoring the implementation of PMFBY including timely settlement of claims through weekly video conferences of stakeholders and one-to-one meetings with insurance companies and states. Various innovative technologies are also adopted to increase the timeliness for the flow of requisite information and data amongst stakeholders, the Ministry further stated.

Steps taken to increase coverage

Due to efforts made by the government, coverage under the scheme has been increasing year-on-year and farmers are subscribing to the scheme voluntarily rather than because of subscription of bank loans. The government has taken various measures like (a) increase in tenure to three years for the selection of insurance companies through the bidding process; (b) introduction of three alternative risk models viz. Profit and Loss Sharing, Cup and Cap (60-130), Cup and Cap (80-110) under which if no claim is made then a portion of the premium paid by the state will go into the state treasury itself; (c) infusion of improved technology i.e. introduction of National Crop Insurance Portal (NCIP), Yield Estimation System based on Technology (YES-TECH), Weather Information Network and Data System (WINDS), Collection of Real-time Observations and Photographs of Crops (CROPIC), integration of State Land Records with NCIP, Digiclaim module on NCIP to work out and settle the clams directly to farmers account using Public Finance Management System (PFMS); and (d) increased IEC activities to improve the implementation and coverage under the scheme, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare informed about the operational guidelines.

Based on the experience gained, views of various stakeholders and to ensure better transparency, accountability, timely payment of claims to the farmers and to make the scheme more farmer-friendly, the Government has periodically revised the operational guidelines of the PMFBY comprehensively to ensure that the eligible benefits under the scheme reach the farmers timely and transparently, the Ministry said.

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