GUWAHATI, June 3 - The State Government has finalised plans for implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) during this Kharif 2017 season and all the districts of Assam have been divided into clusters for coverage under the scheme.
Senior officials told The Assam Tribune that ahu (autumn) paddy, sali (winter) paddy, jute and black gram crops will be covered under PMFBY during the Kharif 2017 season.
The decision to implement the scheme in Kharif 2017 was taken during a recent meeting of the State Level Coordination Committee on Crop Insurance (SLCCCI) which also finalised the modalities.
For the Kharif 2017 season all the old 27 undivided districts of Assam have been compartmentalised into eight clusters. There will be implementing agencies for all clusters.
�For each crop, specific districts or areas within the eight clusters are selected for implementation of the scheme. For the major crop of sali paddy the scheme will be implemented at gram panchayat (GP) level and with each GP to be considered as one unit for the purpose of Crop Cutting Experiments (CCE).
For other crops like ahu paddy, jute and black gram the unit of insurance will be revenue circle district and subdivision,� said an official.
There will be a District Level Monitoring Committee (DLMC) headed by the Deputy Commissioner of a district and with members from Agriculture department, implementing agencies, banks and other concerned departments.
The committee will monitor implementation of the scheme by providing fortnightly crop condition reports and periodical reports on seasonal weather conditions, loans disbursed and extent of area cultivated and it will also monitor CCEs.
�The scheme is available to all farmers growing the notified crops in the notified areas, including sharecroppers and tenant farmers. However, farmers need to have insurable interest for the notified or insured crop,� sources said. There is a compulsory component in the scheme.
All farmers availing Seasonal Agricultural Operations (SAO) loans from financial institutions for the notified crops would be covered compulsorily.
Crop loans through Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) are covered under compulsory coverage.
�Actuarial Premium Rates (APR) would be charged under PMFBY by the implementing agency. However, farmers would be paying maximum of two per cent of sum insured or Actuarial Rate, whichever is less, during the Kharif season. The difference between the actuarial premium rate and rate of insurance charges payable by the farmer shall be treated as rate of normal premium subsidy which shall be shared equally by the Centre and the State,� said an official.
With regard to assessment of loss or shortfall in yield, the State government department overseeing conduct of CCEs will submit yield data as per cut-off date decided by SLCCCI along with results of individual CCEs.
Yield data will be furnished to the insurance company by the State government in accordance with the cut-off dates fixed, and crops and areas notified, based on total number of CCEs being conducted.
�The government has decided to strengthen the audit process of conduct of CCEs and digitizing the CCE process, including geo-coding, date and time stamping and photographic evidence is must for all CCEs. To increase the reliability, accuracy and speed of CCE data, it has been made mandatory to use smart phones and other hand held devices for capturing images, location of CCEs and for online transmission of data on centralized server for faster compilation of data and quick claim settlement,� the official said.
Under the provision of �On account payment of claims due to mid-season adversity�, insured farmers can get immediate relief in case of adverse seasonal conditions during the crop season like floods, prolonged dry spells, severe drought, unseasonal rains and so on wherein expected yield during the season is likely to be less that 50 per cent of threshold yield.
There is a provision for failed sowing, post harvest losses and localised risks also.
Agriculture Insurance Company of India Ltd will be the implementing agency for cluster 1 (undivided Nagaon, Dima Hasao and Kamrup Metro districts), cluster 3 (Kamrup, Baksa, Morigaon and Goalpara districts) and cluster 7 (undivided Sonitpur, Chirang and Dibrugarh districts).
HDFC Ergo General Insurance Company Ltd will implement the scheme in cluster 6 (undivided Sivasagar, Darrang and Nalbari districts) and cluster 8 (Jorhat, Bongaigaon and Karimganj districts).
ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Ltd will be the implementing agency in cluster 2 (Lakhimpur, Kokrajhar, Golaghat and Hailakandi districts) and cluster 4 (Barpeta, undivided Karbi Anglong, Cachar and Tinsukia districts).
Royal Sundaram General Insurance Company Ltd will be the implementing agency in cluster 5 consisting of undivided Dhubri, Udalguri and Dhemaji districts.