New Delhi, Jan 16: Days after launching the Crop Insurance Scheme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today wrote an open letter to farmers, saying the new scheme has been brought because the earlier ones were "unsuccessful" for various reasons, thus "eroding" the faith of the farming community.
Highlighting the elements of the fresh scheme which is aimed at helping the distressed agriculture community, he said this is the biggest-ever government contribution to crop insurance while ensuring that farmers have to pay the lowest-ever premium rate.
"My dear farmer brothers and sisters, the news of Pradhanmanti Fasal Bima Yojana must have already reached you.
Farmers in our country have often felt at risk - at times from crop losses due to natural disasters, at times by falling market prices," he said in the open letter. He said over the last 18 months, his government has taken several steps to help the farmers who faced such difficulties.
The new scheme, which will be implemented from the forthcoming Kharif season, is "simple to join and offers maximum security", Modi said while inviting the wholehearted participation by farmers.
"There have been insurance schemes for farmers in the past as well. However, they were unsuccessful for various reasons - ranging from high premium rates to low claim value and non-coverage of localised crop loss.
"As a result, not more than 20 percent of farmers opted for crop insurance; and those who did faced many difficulties to get their due. Eventually, farmers' faith in insurance schemes eroded over time," Modi said while justifying the new scheme.
The Prime Minister said it was against this backdrop that "we engaged in detailed consultations with states, farmers and insurance companies; following which I now place before my farmer brothers and sisters, the farmer-friendly Pradhanmantri Fasal Bima Yojana."
Giving highlights of the scheme, he said farmers will have to pay the lowest-ever premium rate while government will bear the remaining financial burden - even if the government's share exceeds 90 per cent.
"There will be only one premium rate for each season for all foodgrains, oilseeds and pulses - removing all variation in rates across crops and districts within a season - Kharif: 2 per cent only - Rabi: 1.5 per cent only. "Farmers will get full insurance cover - there will be no capping of the sum insured, and consequently, claimed amount will not be cut or reduced.
"For the first time, inundation has been included under localised risk cover. "For the first time, post-harvest losses arising out of cyclone and unseasonal rain have been covered nationally. "For the first time, emphasis has been give to mobile and satellite technology to facilitate accurate assessment and quick settlement of claims," he said.