Patna, Aug 10: After a slugfest over naming of the Centre's crop insurance policy, the Bihar government today agreed to implement the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana on an experimental basis in the kharif season.
"The state government has decided to implement the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) in the state keeping in mind the sentiments of cooperative federalism. "The crop insurance scheme will be implemented in its present form for the kharif season on an experimental basis," Bihar's Cooperative Minister Alok Kumar Mehta told reporters here.
Mehta, however, made it clear that the scheme is being implemented on a trial basis with a view to assess whether it actually helps farmers or ends up benefitting the insurance companies. It would also be seen what amount of compensation the farmers get in the event of crop loss, he said.
The last date for implementation of the scheme is August 15, he said, adding that the state government would extend the deadline if needed.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had recently said that the scheme should have been named 'PM-CM farmer insurance scheme' or 'Kendra-Rajya Fasal Bima Yojana' instead of being named exclusively after the Prime Minister as both the Centre and states have to bear the financial burden of its implementation.
Mehta held a meeting with Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh in Delhi on August 8 but the issue remained unresolved. Subsequently, Singh wrote to Mehta saying that not implementing the scheme will ultimately harm the farmers of Bihar.
Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi and other party leaders in the state had also attacked the Nitish Kumar government for not implementing the crop insurance scheme due to its name.