Crop insurance: Farmers in Karnataka may get the right to object

As several disputes have arisen over crop insurance, specifically with regard to the extent of yield, a proposal has been made to give the right to file objections to farmers, empowering them to protect their interests.

At present, in the insurance scheme under the Karnataka Raitha Suraksha Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, only insurance companies have the right to file objections to the “crop-cutting exercise” that is very crucial in determining the yield and, thereby, the insurance amount. Similarly, at the district level, the District Planning Officer can file objections to the outcome of the exercise on behalf of the State government.

Mistakes galore

“Many instances have been reported in the State where wrong entries have been made during the crop-cutting exercise, bringing down or increasing the average yield, which is important for crop insurance. It is only fair that the farmers who opt for the scheme and pay premium amount get a chance to file objections if such circumstance arise,” a senior government official told The Hindu. “These mistakes in entry could be deliberate, or in a number of cases they might have occurred during manual entry into the app. To maintain the sanctity of the process, nobody can make changes. In serious cases, the crop-cutting exercise results could be cancelled or the process repeated,” the official said.

Apart from instances of wrong entry on yield, mistakes on whether land is irrigated or rain-fed, mix-up in plot numbers, or even improper procedures followed during the crop-cutting exercise have been reported.

“In several instances, it has been reported that the primary worker in charge of the crop-cutting exercise had made entries without even visiting the farmer’s field due to absence of GPS. Large-scale manipulation was found in Kalaburagi recently. In Vijayapura, ₹6.5 crore was released after an official inquiry. All this could hurt a farmer when he claims insurance,” the officer said.

When wrong entries were made, farmers could complain to the authorities about the discrepancy on receiving the insurance amount, compared to what a neighbouring farmer had got. “It was a cumbersome process and there was no guarantee that farmer’s claim would be honoured,” said the officer.

Notifying results

In light of these problems, it is now proposed that the respective gram panchayats notify the results of the crop-cutting exercise, based on which the farmer can file objections. “By following proper procedures, a decision on the matter can be taken by the district administration,” said the officer.

However, the government is also worried about opening the floodgates for complaints, which can prove a nightmare for the district administration that is already burdened with other work and shortage of personnel.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 2:26:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/crop-insurance-farmers-in-karnataka-may-get-the-right-to-object/article36050733.ece

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