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A union minister today blamed some states for giving less time to farmers to avail the benefits under the 'Pradhan Mantri Bima Fasal Yojya', forcing the Centre to extend the scheme for another ten days.
Stating this while replying to supplementaries during the Question Hour in Rajya Sabha, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said some states had issued a notification on the scheme just two days before it was to end.
"Some state governments gave less time to farmers to avail the benefits of 'Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna' (PMFBY) so that there is less financial burden on them. But there is more pressure from farmers and state governments are forced to respond accordingly.
"Last time some states have issued notification two days before the scheme ends. This forced us to extend the scheme for 10 days," he told the members.
Singh said it is the responsibility of state governments to ensure that more and more farmers take the benefit of the PMFBY and hence issue the notification in advance. "We have asked state governments to declare in advance which insurance company should cater to which area," he added.
The Minister said the PMFBY was made attractive for farmers and, after changes, 3.80 crore farmers have availaed benefits under it last year against 3.09 crore earlier. Of these, he said, there are 1.25 lakh such farmers who did not take loans but still availed benefits under the scheme.
In a written reply, Singh said, "Perennial/horticulture crops like apple, cardamom are not covered under PMFBY due to non-availability of statistically reliable methodology for assessment of yield of these crops."
He said inclusion of perennial/horticultural crops under yield-based crop insurance schemes was examined by a Committee constituted by the department in 2002 and few pilots were carried out but they were not successful.
To another supplementary, the Minister said crops and areas under various schemes is notified by the concerned state/UT governments.
Singh said the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna is a yield based scheme and envisages coverage of food and oilseeds crops and annual commercial/horticultural crops for which yield data is available for sufficient number of years.
State governments have the capacity to conduct requisite number of crop cutting experiments to assess the yield loss.