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Poor response to Telangana insurance

Poor response to Telangana insurance
Highlights

Although August 15, the DDay for the launch of Farmers Insurance Scheme is nearing, the response from farmers to the Telangana State Government s...

Hyderabad: Although August 15, the D-Day for the launch of ‘Farmers Insurance Scheme’ is nearing, the response from farmers to the Telangana State Government 's latest showpiece has been lukewarm. So far, only 27 lakh farmers have enrolled for the scheme, which seeks to provide Rs 5 lakh insurance cover to the bereaved family in case of the farmer’s untimely death.

Not more than 50 per cent of the total number of 57 lakh farmers registered their names under the new scheme, which will take effect on Independence Day, officials said. They attributed the lukewarm response to a sentiment prevalent among some farmers that taking up an insurance scheme would have negative impact on the longevity of the farmer concerned.

As per official records, 62 per cent of farmers in Telangana possess less than 2.5 acres of land, 24 per cent own land measuring between 2.5 and 5 acres, 11 per cent peasants possess between 5 and 10 acres, less than 3 per cent own between 10 and 25 acres, while 0.88 per cent of the farmers individually have more than 25 acres of land.

Senior officials of the Agriculture Department said that in many districts, small farmers have reservations and sentiments as the scheme yields benefits only after the farmer’s death. “They won’t like to be part of the scheme which extends help post-death of the enrolled persons,” officials said.

They pointed out that middle level farmers, owning 5 to 15 acres, and landlords, owning more than 25 acres of land, are not showing interests in the scheme as most of them already have personal insurance cover. Some of them are settled in the cities and are not keen to be part of the scheme.

Under these circumstances, officials said that the government does not expect the total number of beneficiaries to cross 30 lakh. While announcing the scheme, the government targeted enrolling nearly 45 lakh farmers. That is, it will fall short of the target by about 15 lakh this year.

To ensure that a greater number of farmers would avail of the scheme, the government has decided to distribute insurance bonds in advance to enrolled farmers. From August 8, bonds will be given to farmers and the process completed before August 15. Earlier, it was planned to distribute bonds from Independence Day onwards. The government has already released Rs 600 crore to the LIC by paying Rs 2,227 as annual premium for each policy holder under the scheme.

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