New Delhi, Feb 21 : Implementation of the NDA government's ambitious crop insurance scheme -- the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) -- is facing difficulties due to lack of cooperation from the states, Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said on Wednesday.
"Lack of cooperation from states is posing a huge challenge..it was conceived by the government to provide comprehensive agricultural insurance in the country. The states must come on board for ironing out the glitches in the scheme's implementation, since agriculture is a state subject," the Minister of State for Agriculture said after inaugurating a national conference on 'Accelerating Agriculture Insurance.
The event was organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry here.
The PMFBY was launched in 2016, in which the premium paid by farmers was reduced to 1.5 per cent for Rabi, 2 per cent for Kharif and 5 per cent for commercial crops.
In the conference, Agriculture Ministry Joint Secretary Ashish Kumar Bhutani said the PMFBY had resulted in a 74 per cent increase in insurance money in 2016-17 and coverage under the scheme had risen to 50 per cent of the gross cropped area though a number of challenges still remained in its implementation.
"Many states were unable to conduct crop cutting experiments; there was lack of data on the insured that jacked up premium and put pressure on central and state resources; and there was delay in release of subsidy by states," he said.
It was imperative to evolve a focused and structured dispute resolution mechanism in this regard, he added.
A new portal will be operational within a week to act as a platform for addressing all relevant issues, including processing of claims and delay in the provision of subsidy by the states, Bhutani said.
An official statement quoted Shekhawat as advising Ficci to conduct brainstorming sessions on the subject in states and suggest ways "to bring laggard states on par with good performers to ensure realisation of full potential benefits of the scheme.