Government to launch new Unified Package Insurance Scheme for farmers

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In the middle of concerns about the increasing incidents of farmer suicides in India, the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in plans to unveil an exclusive all-in-one new insurance product for the farming community. The rollout of this product is a part of the ongoing social security scheme.

Named Unified Package Insurance Scheme (Bhartiya Krishi Bima Yojana), the policy will flaunt nine features with the mandatory crop insurance. However, the farmers have to select at least four other farmers in order to avail the subsidy under the crop insurance section, claimed a draft that was prepared by the Finance Ministry. This draft report is at the discussion stage with the key stakeholders.

This move comes followed the launch of mass banking, pension and insurance products over the past year and amidst the increasing reports of more and more farmers choosing to end their lives due to indebtedness and other social-economic problems.

The planned policy packages several products such as crop insurance, personal accident insurance, health cover, live stock or cattle insurance, student safety insurance, life insurance and insurance cover for agricultural implements such as pump sets and tractors, claimed the draft.

This scheme aims at providing the financial protection to the farmers ensuring food security, enhancing growth, crop diversification and competitiveness of the agricultural sector. It will also protect the farmers from the financial risks, revealed the draft.

The insurance cover will be for a year except for the agricultural insurance that will be bi-annual for Kharif and Rabi crops separately. The insurance cover can be renewed every year.

This scheme will be provided and administered by the general insurers on the similar terms that are applicable on the other social security covers with the necessary approvals and portion of area. This scheme will be implemented via a multi-agency framework by putting into practice the agency under the overall guidance and control of the Union agriculture and cooperation department and the states concerned in the harmonization with various other agencies.

The financial institutions such as commercial banks and cooperative banks, regional rural banks, regulatory bodies and government departments such as revenue, panchayati raj, horticulture, statistics, agriculture and information science and technology are the agencies involved in this scheme.

The farmers who have got bank credit will be covered via banks or financial institutions and non-loanee farmers will be covered via the insurance or bank intermediaries. This policy is designed to look after the insurance needs of the farmers who are associated with the agriculture activities and it provides yield based crop insurance to those farmers based on the ownership rights of sown crop and land.

This policy is also designed to protect the farmers and their families in situations such as hospitalization due to illness, accidental death or disablement and accidental insurance protection of their college or school going children. It also covers the educational fees to the students in the case of death of the parent.

 

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