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CCEA approves 'Livestock Insurance Scheme on pilot project basis

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New Delhi, Feb 22 (UNI) The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the launch of 'Livestock Insurance Scheme' on a pilot basis in 100 districts during 2005-06 and 2006-7.

"It is targeted to ensure 1.5 lakh animals under the scheme with an estimated expenditure of Rs 120 crore," Finance Minister P Chidambaram told newspersons here on the outcome of the CCEA meeting last evening.

Mr Chidambaram said the districts under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) will be those where livestock is a potentially important source of income supplementation and where special efforts are being made to introduce cross bred and high yielding cattle.

"Considering that the livestock owners, most of whom are marginal farmers and landless labourers are not in a position to bear the full cost of premium, it will be subsidised to the extent of 50 per cent. The entire cost of subsidy will be borne by the Central government," Mr Chidambaram said.

He said subsidy in premium will be restricted to two animals per beneficiary and will be given for one time insurance of an animal upto a maximum period of three years.

"The private sector insurers will also be encouraged to participate in the scheme, thus providing scope for getting competitive premium rates," he said.

The Livestock Insurance Scheme has been formulated with the twin objectives of providing protection to the farmers and cattle rearers against any eventual loss of their animals due to death and to poularise the scheme to the people with the aim of attaining qualitative improvement in livestock and their products.

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