Working Group Constituted to overhaul PMFBY; Headed by Ritesh Chauhan

The Central Government has constituted a Working Group (WG) to be headed by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PMFBY, currently Ritesh Chauhan to roll out an overhauled Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) from Kharif 2022.

  • The group will submit its report in six months.

Composition of WG:

The WG will comprise officials from Centre, key crop-producing states and top executives of public sector insurance companies.  It will have principal secretaries (agriculture) of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha as members.

  • It will also include some states who exited the PMFBY

Reasons behind the formation of WG:

i.The key reason is the quitting of the scheme by many states due to the share of premium.

  • The premium to be paid by farmers is fixed at 1.5% of the sum insured for rabi crops and 2% for Kharif crops, while it is 5% for cash crops under PMFBY. The balance premium is split equally between the Centre and states. Many states have demanded their share of the premium subsidy be capped at 30% while some others demand the Centre to bear the entire subsidy.

ii.Secondly, there is lack of sufficient participation in tenders, inadequate underwriting capacity of insurers that adversely impacted PMFBY.

iii.Also, there is no other scheme than PMFBY that ensures a stable income during calamities. Therefore, relevant changes are required.

Exit of States from PMFBY:

i.Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Bihar exited the scheme. ii.Punjab never implemented the crop insurance scheme.

iii.Bihar, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh have their schemes under which farmers do not pay any premium, but they receive a fixed amount of compensation in case of crop failure.

iv.According to provisional data of 19 states (excluding Karnataka), there is over 10% fall in enrollment of farmers under crop insurance during Kharif 2021 from last season’s 1.68 crore.

Key responsibilities of WG:

i.It will suggest sustainable, financial and operational models to achieve sustainable underwriting capacities of insurers and find out reasons for high premium rates and suggest mechanisms for the same.

ii.They will also do a detailed study on the feasibility to adopt suitable technology-based approaches for early settlement of claims by modifying traditional methodology of Crop Cutting Experiments (CCEs) for loss estimation.

Recent Related News:

The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) launched the Crop Insurance Awareness Campaign for PMFBY during the Crop Insurance Week from 1st – 7th July 2021.

About Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY):

Initiated– 2016
Parent Ministry– Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW)

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