Agri Business

Centre working on portal to get farm insurance data in real time

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on October 16, 2016

The Ministry hopes to have the portal in place by the time insurance for the rabi season starts being offered to farmers next month   -  THE HINDU

Efforts are on to make the collection of data on insurance coverage for farmers under the Prime Minister’s Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) become more efficient and timely from the upcoming rabi season.

The Agriculture Ministry is working on a portal where banks can directly enter details on insurance sold to farmers during the two cropping seasons.

This will help the Centre in accessing information on insurance coverage on real time basis in various States and take timely corrective action wherever required. “We have already had several rounds of meetings with senior officials, including General Managers of all commercial banks, and also discussed various alternatives to make the portal user-friendly,” an Agriculture Ministry official told BusinessLine.

Commercial banks are responsible for a large part of insurance sold to farmers as the PMFBY mandates that all banks have to mandatorily cover farmers who take loans from them in the period the insurance is sold. Since banks take their time to give details on the number of farmers they have provided insurance cover to, the Centre gets delayed information on the spread of the scheme.

“Once we start getting data on a real-time basis from banks, we will know exactly how the scheme is doing and if steps like more publicity or extending the deadline for issuing insurance need to be taken,” the official said. The Agriculture Ministry hopes to have the portal in place by the time insurance for the rabi season starts being offered to farmers next month, he added.

The PMFBY, which replaced the older National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) and the modified NAIS, seeks to provide comprehensive insurance to farmers against the vagaries of nature at very low premia of 2 per cent of the insured value for the kharif crop and 1.5 per cent for the rabi season.

Deadline extended

The deadline for the insurance scheme for the kharif season was extended from July 30 to August 10 this year for most States and from August 15 to August 31 for Bihar as several States were late in notifying the new scheme. According to Agriculture Ministry’s rough estimates, this kharif season insurance coverage this year at 3.15 crore farmers have been insured this kharif season as opposed to 3.08 crore last year.

Published on October 16, 2016
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