PMFBY: Dharmendra Pradhan writes to Agri Minister over alleged crop insurance scam
The farmers alleged abysmally low insurance paid to them for crop loss due to drought during the kharif 2021 season, attributing the reason to faulty CCE data
Bhubaneswar: Amid allegations of crop insurance irregularities from various farmers’ groups in Bargarh district of Odisha, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has appealed to the Centre for an investigation into the matter. In a letter to the Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare (Government of India) dated 16.11.2022, Pradhan urged for an inquiry as regards functioning of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana(PMFBY) and alleged malpractices by officials of the State government during crop cutting experiments (CCE) and conduct of private insurance companies empanelled in the scheme in Odisha, specially in Bargarh district.
Pradhan, in the letter, stated that he raised the issue after getting a petition from the farmers in the district where the latter requested for review of insurance sum paid by HDFC Ergo General Insurance Company Limited, which is enlisted by the Odisha government for crop insurance under the PMFBY for Kharif 2021 season in many blocks of Bargarh district. The farmers alleged abysmally low insurance paid to them for crop loss due to drought during the kharif 2021 season, attributing the reason to faulty CCE data provided by State government officials and manipulation of the same by the insurance company.
“The petitioners have alleged that private insurance companies are colluding with government officials and manipulating CCE data resulting in lower-than expected insurance pay out. the ineffectiveness of the local administration and tactics of the HDFC group is derailing the implementation of PMFBY in Bargarh district,” Pradhan wrote, while referring to CCEs being carried out in unscientific manner without proper technology to suit interests of insurance companies. This results in pay outs as low as 5 per cent against the pay rate of 76.56 per cent in some gram panchayats, he stated.
Pradhan also called for an immediate probe into the matter. “Keeping in mind the severity of the scam and urgent need to provide justice to the aggrieved farmers, I take the opportunity to request you to investigate the matter at your personal level and order for a proper investigation towards functioning of PMFBY and alleged malpractices during CCEs in Odisha, specially in Bargarh district,” the letter signed by him read.