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India - Gujarat's new scheme for farmers to replace PM's crop insurance scheme for this year

The Gujarat government’s new scheme for farmers facing crop losses will replace the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) for this year only, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said.

The new scheme, called Mukhya Mantri Kisan Sahay Yojana, will grant compensation to farmers facing crop losses due to drought, excess rain or unseasonal rain, without collecting any premium.

Unlike the Centre’s crop insurance scheme, farmers are not required to pay any premium under this new state government’s scheme to get protection against natural risks like drought, excess or unseasonal rain this kharif season, Rupani said, as quoted by PTI.

“Only for this year, we are replacing PMFBY with the Mukhya Mantri Kisan Sahay Yojana because insurance firms have sought very high premium from us this time. If we approve their tender, the state government will have to pay Rs 4,500 crore towards its share,” Rupani said.

The amount sought by insurance firms this year is much higher than the average yearly premium of around Rs 1,800 crore, he said.

“Thus, we have decided not to accept the tender for this year and launch this scheme. Neither the state nor farmers will have to pay any premium this year. Unlike PMFBY, which protects only those farmers who pay premium, our scheme will cover all the farmers, that too with zero premium,” the chief minister said.

He said farmers who have sown crops in this kharif (monsoon) season will get benefit under this scheme.

The compensation will be given only if the loss of crop is more than 33 percent either due to drought, or excess rain, or due to unseasonal rainfall, Rupani said.

A farmer is eligible to get compensation for maximum four hectares of land, he said.

For crop loss between 33 and 66 percent, a farmer will get a compensation of Rs 20,000 per hectare for maximum four hectares.

For crop loss above 60 percent, a farmer will get Rs 25,000 per hectare for maximum four hectares.

Rupani clarified that apart from the compensation paid under this scheme, farmers are also eligible to get additional compensation under the State Disaster Response Fund in case of crop loss due to natural calamities.

“This new scheme will benefit all the 56 lakh farmers of the state. It is also simpler than PMFBY. We will be launching a dedicated portal so that farmers can apply online. Tribal farmers registered under the Forest Rights Act are also eligible for this scheme,” the chief minister said.

Since the state government had already kept aside Rs 1,800 crore to pay the crop insurance premium, the same fund will now be utilised for this scheme, he said.

Source – https://www.moneycontrol.com