Under PMFBY guidelines, a farmer is required to pay 2% of the sum insured in case of kharif crop and 1.5% in case of rabi crop (5% for horticulture crop) as the premium and the balance is shared 50:50 by the state and the Centre.
Haryana cotton growers are a worried lot as their share of premium under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) has been increased from Rs 620 per acre to Rs 1,650 this time. This is the result of withdrawal of the subsidy Haryana provided on the premium.
This year, farmers’ premium share under the government insurance scheme was hiked up to Rs 50 per acre for paddy, Rs 10 per acre for maize, Rs 40 per acre for bajra, Rs 1,030 per acre for cotton, Rs 8 per acre for barley and wheat, Rs 15 per acre each for gram and sunflower and Rs 130 per acre for mustard.
Rajbir Sihag, a farmer from Bhiwani’s Miran, said he had paid Rs 2,480 as the premium for four acre of cotton crop last year, but this time, he had to cough up Rs 4,120 for the same area.
“On one hand, the government is encouraging farmers to adopt non-water guzzling crops and on the other, it has increased the insurance premium for the cotton crop. We want the government to reduce the hiked amount. We have to invest a lot in cotton production and now, the Haryana government has put more financial burden on us by increasing the premium amount to Rs 1,030 per acre,” he added.
Farm leader Ramandeep Singh Mann said the overall premium for the cotton crop has increased Rs 3,250 per hectare this time as compared to the last year.
“It is quite unfortunate that the state government reduced its share in the premium for the cotton crop this time, due to which farmers will have to bear the brunt,” he added.
Haryana agriculture joint director Jagraj Dandi agreed that the farmers’ share of premium for cotton crop under PMFBY has increased to Rs 1,030 per acre as the state government withdrew its 3% subsidy on the premium amount.
“Cotton is a commercial crop and farmers are required to pay 5% of the sum insured as the premium. Earlier, the farmers were paying only 2% and the remaining 3% was being deposited by the Haryana government. This time, we have withdrawn 3% subsidy and the cotton farmers will have to pay 5% of the sum insured as the premium,” he added.