Accident, livestock coverage proposed in new scheme

Gargi Parsai

NEW DELHI: The Centre has decided to replace the current National Agriculture Insurance Scheme with a Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme. A Joint Group set up under the Ministry of Agriculture has proposed insurance cover to farmers not only for major crops but also for personal accident, dwelling and livestock with panchayat as a unit. This is the first time that considerations other than notified crops, will be taken on board for farmers.

According to well-placed sources, there would be two categories of coverage of farmers. The compulsory category would comprise farmers who take institutional loans. The other would be the voluntary category in which all farmers both loanee and non-loanee (who grow notified crops) would be allowed to participate on a voluntary basis.

The scheme with a financial implication of over Rs. 4000 crore for 100 per cent coverage of farmers of all categories, is under consideration of the Planning Commission.

Premium on annual basis

Premium will be worked out on an actuarial basis. There will be a subsidy on premium to be picked up by the Centre and States on a 50:50 basis. For 2006-07, about 25 per cent coverage (about three crore farmers) has been worked out with about Rs. 1500-crore implication. The new scheme may also take into consideration pre-sowing losses.