Rohtak, Aug 21 Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh today said the number of farmers opting for the 'Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana' this year is expected to cross four crore, as against three crore last year.
As many as 200 mandis across the country would be brought under the ambit of the scheme by next month.
400 mandis would be made online by March next year, while 585 mandis would go online by 2018, he said.
Singh said, "The scheme aims to make agricultural practice risk-free for the farmers, but the leaders in order to serve their own political agenda are not able to comprehend it."
"Earlier, crop insurance schemes profited insurance companies and farmers were not compensated for the losses due to crop damage caused by natural calamities after the harvest. Besides, premium rates differed according to location," he said. But this scheme is farmer-friendly.
The farmers are required to pay only minimal premium and can claim compensation for losses caused by natural calamities up to 14 days after the harvest, the Union minister said.
Reiterating the government's commitment towards increasing farmers' income, the minister said Prime Minister Narendra Modi understood the problems of the poor and the farmers and has taken several initiatives to alleviate their sufferings and provide amenities to them.
Bank accounts of more than 22 crore families have been opened in the last two years under the 'Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana' and the government has made it a mission to provide electricity to each household by March, 2018, he said.
Addressing a public meeting, Singh said the Tiranga Yatra was launched throughout the country on August 9 to mark 70 years of freedom and would continue till August 22. He also visited the ancestral house of Sir Chhotu Ram, one of the most prominent pre-partition politicians in the British India's Punjab Province.
Haryan Minister of State for Cooperation (Independent Charge) Manish Kumar Grover and state BJP chief Subhash Barala also spoke on the occasion.