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India - Insurance company rejects over 14,000 claims from farmers seeking compensation over kharif crop loss

A public insurance company has rejected over 14,000 claims seeking compensation for crop loss under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), stating on their website that 95 per cent were duplicate entries by claimants.

The Oriental Insurance Company is in charge of clusters 2 and 6 that consist districts of Beed, Jalgaon, Nashik, Osmanabad, Raigad, Sangli, Satara and Solapur.

Maharashtra is divided into clusters with individual insurance companies entrusted one or more clusters for operations. A total of 29.62 lakh farmers in these districts had insured their kharif crop for 2018.

The premium collected from farmers in these districts for the same season stood at Rs 119.65 crore with the state government and the central government chipping in their share as well.

However, documents put up by the company shows that a 14,927 claim applications were rejected for kharif 2018. Of these, 14,856 were rejected because of duplication while 71 were rejected due to data mismatch.

Beed has the highest number of rejections at 11,508, followed by Osmanabad at 2,596 and Solapur at 295. Other districts such as Raigad recorded 224 rejections, Jalgaon 161, Nashik 95, Satara 36 and Sangli 12.

These claims will not be eligible for any compensation and the premium filled will be transferred to the technical fund of the government. Farmers enroll for PMFBY when they avail crop loans from their individual banks. Non-loanee farmers opt for the scheme individually. They have to provide Aadhaar card and the 7/12 land extract for identification, under the scheme. Manikrao Kadam, Marathwada president of the farmers’ outfit Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghtana, said the Aadhaar being the determinant, double entry was almost ruled out in this scheme.

“There should be a thorough inquiry on how double entries were allowed, given the system should automatically reject such scenarios,” he said. A flagship programme of the central government, the PMFBY insures farmers against crop loss. Private as well as public sector insurance companies take part in the scheme with farmers paying 2 per cent insurance charges.

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