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India - Apply before July 31 to avail benefits of crop insurance govt scheme

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana is a central government scheme that compensates farmers with interest for the loss of crop due to unseasonal or excessive rainfall. To help farmers affected from a sudden change in weather, the scheme was started by the government on January 13, 2016. PMFBY is a replacement scheme of the National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) and replaced as the revised National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (MNAIS). It is exempted from the service tax.

The deadline to apply for Kharif crops insurance under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana is July 31, 2020. Those indebted farmers who do not wish to avail the insurance facility must inform their branch in written seven days before the last date. Non-indebted farmers can do crop insurance themselves on CSC, bank, agent, or insurance portal.

Farmers have to fill the application form within 10 days of sowing to avail the benefits of the scheme. Insurance benefits are given only if the crops are damaged during between the stages of sowing and harvesting due to a natural disaster.

They need to pay a uniform premium of only two per cent for all Kharif crops and 1.5 per cent for all rabi crops. And, in case of annual commercial and horticultural crops, only a five per cent premium will have to be paid as per the rules.

Benefits of availing PMFBY scheme:

  1. Damages due to loss of land, hail, waterlogging, cloudburst, are covered under the crop insurance scheme.
  2. Crops are insured for natural calamities, diseases and pests, other local calamities like hailstorms, landslides, cloudburst and loss from lightning.
  3. After harvesting, the insurance company compensates for the damages to the crops kept for drying in the field for the next 14 days due to unseasonal cyclone, hail, and storm damage on an individual basis.
  4. Benefits are also given if farmers are unable to sow crops due to unfavourable seasonal conditions.
  5. The rates of premium paid by the farmers are very low and the remaining premium is paid by the government to provide full sum insured to the farmers for crop loss in any kind of natural calamities.
  6. There is no upper limit on government subsidy. Even if the remaining premium is 90 per cent, it is borne by the government. The farmers can claim for the entire sum insured without any deduction.
  7. The use of technology has been encouraged to a great extent. Smartphones, remote sensing drones, and GPS technology are being used to collect and upload crop harvesting data to reduce delays in claim payments.
  8. Moreover, the insurance scheme is regulated by a single insurance company, the Agricultural Insurance Company of India.

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