New Delhi: The Centre has put in place a new professional team to fast-track crop insurance scheme PMFBY and raise the coverage under the scheme to 50 per cent of the gross cropped area in 2018-19, a government official said on Tuesday.
Government engages UNDP to fast-track crop insurance scheme
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has been contracted as a consultant for two years to help establish a Programme Management Unit (PMU) at a cost of Rs 28 crore, the official said.
"The unit will have 15 professionals whom the UNDP is in the process of hiring on its payroll. Some professionals have already been recruited...," the official added.
The unit, to be housed in Shastri Bhavan or Krishi Bhavan, will not only monitor all issues related to Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), but will also address them comprehensively.
The current government's team is too small to handle PMFBY, which was launched in 2016 and is being implemented in 25 states. Under the scheme, farmers pay very nominal premium and get full claim for damages.
The crop insurance claim is estimated to be Rs 15,853 crore for the kharif 2017 season, of which Rs 6,622 crore has been settled, as per the government data.
Under PMFBY, farmers' premium has been kept lower between 1.5-2 per cent for foodgrains and oilseed crops, and up to 5 per cent for horticultural and cotton crops. There is no cap on the premium and 25 per cent of the likely claim will be settled directly in farmers' accounts.