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Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Claims of Haryana farmers worth Rs 35 cr stuck

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11

Farmers' claims worth Rs 34.92 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) are stuck for the past over three years because banks debited the premium from their accounts, but they were not covered under the scheme or insurance companies had not settled their claims for other seasons.

ISSUE BEFORE CENTRE

There is a clear provision under the PMFBY that in case farmers are deprived of their claims due to the fault of insurance companies or banks, they will be held liable to compensate farmers for the loss. We have taken up the matter with the Centre so that bankers can be forced to make good the loss. — Jagraj Dandi, Joint Director, Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare

The claims of at least 7,500 farmers across the state were stuck after they suffered crop losses because their crops were not covered under the PMFBY despite payment of premium.

Jagraj Dandi, Joint Director, Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare, confirmed the development and said the cases pertained to various years since the PMFBY was introduced in 2016.

"There is a clear provision under the PMFBY that in case farmers are deprived of their claims due to the fault of insurance companies or banks, they will be held liable to compensate farmers for the loss. We have taken up the matter with the Centre so that bankers can be forced to make good the loss," he said.

According to sources, the insurance claims of nearly 7,500 farmers were stuck since 2016 after they suffered crop losses because they were not covered under the scheme.

Sources said the amount of these unresolved claims was over Rs 15 crore. When the state government checked records, it was found that banks had debited premium, but not paid it to insurance companies.

The PMFBY provides for resolution of disputes by District-Level Grievances Redressal Committees under Deputy Commissioners and State-Level Grievances Redressal Committees headed by the Principal Secretary.

The sources said both committees had found banks responsible and imposed fines on those. However, the banks had not complied with the orders of the committees and the matter had reached the Centre.

"We have taken up the matter with the Centre so that banks can be forced to pay farmers' claims as they have been waiting for these for years despite having paid premium," said a senior officer of the Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Department.

Besides, two insurance companies had not settled claims of farmers amounting to Rs 11.09 crore and Rs 9.79 crore.



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