It’s a relief for farmers, as the Centre on Thursday agreed to the Maharashtra government’s demand of extending the cut-off date till July 23 for enrolment under the Prime Minister’s Fasal Bima Yojana. A government-sponsored scheme, it integrates multiple stakeholders on a single platform for the Kharif season.
The state agriculture minister Dadaji Bhuse, in his letter, had argued that the cut-off, which was to end on July 15, should be extended due to Level 3 restrictions, as many farmers have yet to enrol themselves.
Bhuse said, “As there is lockdown in many parts of the state in July, the extension is justified.” He said there is provision in revamped operational guidelines that no Central premium subsidy will be provided for the areas/farmers/crops that are covered/insured in the extended period and the state concerned has to bear the entire subsidy liability for the coverage in the extended period. He had demanded exemption from bearing the subsidy liability by providing Central share in the extended period.
Bhuse had made a strong case of extension for seven days also because of delayed rainfall.
The assistant commissioner (credit) Sunil Kumar reportedly said the matter has been examined by the department of agriculture, cooperation and farmers’ welfare, and the state’s request for extension has been agreed to as a special case, in the interest of the farming community, owing to the pandemic.
The Centre’s move came days after it had launched the crop insurance awareness campaign for Fasal Bima Yojana. Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said in the last four years, a premium amounting to Rs 17,000 crore was deposited by the farmers, against which more than Rs 95,000 crore has been provided to them as claims.