After losing almost half of its pulse crop to this winter’s intense frost-like conditions, Madhya Pradesh is pressing for its demand to cover all farmers as a unit under various crop insurance schemes. Chief Minster Shivraj Singh Chouhan has already raised the issue before the Centre and is eagerly awaiting the Centre’s response to initiate a debate in Bhopal.
“A national level workshop on the issue will be soon organised in Bhopal to press for our demand to consider farmers as a unit.... the central government has given its consent to the workshop,” Chouhan said.
Chouhan had on July 19, 2006, decided to treat “patwari halka” as the unit for crop insurance in Madhya Pradesh. Till then, tehsil was the unit for calculating crop damage due to adverse weather conditions.
“In fact the Centre had left it on us to adopt Patwari Halka as unit for crop insurance and my government was the first to consider it, but irony is that we cant help it out and farmers get nothing as compensation from insurance companies that mint money on their premium,” Chouhan said adding, “For several years we are raising this issue with the Centre so that farmers can get adequate compensation. Members of Parliament from Madhya Pradesh had also raised the issue and lobbied support at the Central Government level,” Chouhan said.
Central Government’s sanctioned for declaring ‘patwari halka’ on 25 June 2006. As many as 11,524 ‘patwari halkas’ in the state and treated as units for extending the crop insurance benefit to farmers. “I am concerned about those two million farmers who have lost their crops, the Central government must take immediate steps in the interest of the farmers,” he said.
According to the government data as many as 35,00,000 hectare has been affected due to frost-like conditions.
The state government has made arrangements of Rs 700 crore and has reportedly disbursed Rs 353 crore. The crop losses have been estimated at Rs 7,624 crore.