Government for early payment of insurance money to farmers

October 8th, 2008 - 7:12 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 8 (IANS) The finance ministry Wednesday said all efforts would be made to ensure farmers get their outstanding insurance money soon, estimated to be Rs.926.79 crore or Rs.9.26 billion as of Sep 15.Since the state government’s share in the outstanding amount is Rs.372.93 crore or Rs.3.72 billion, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram will write to the chief ministers concerned to contribute their share towards unpaid insurance claims of farmers.

The ministry in a statement Wednesday said there were complaints from various places about the non-payment or delayed payment of claim money to farmers under the National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS).

“As of September 15, 2008, the total outstanding claims are Rs.926.79 crore. This amount has to be shared among the Agricultural Insurance Corporation (AIC), the government of India and the state governments,” it said.

As per the ministry’s break-up, there is an outstanding amount of Rs.180.91 crore or Rs.1.8 billion against AIC, while the federal government and state governments owe Rs.372.93 crore or Rs. 3.72 billion each.

The ministry said the AIC and the federal government’s share is ready, but in the absence of contributions of the state governments, it has not been possible to disburse the amounts against the outstanding claims.

“Finance minister will write to the chief ministers of the states concerned to contribute their share towards the outstanding claims. Every effort will be made to disburse the money to the farmers against the outstanding claims as early as possible,” said a ministry press communiqué.

In the 2008-09 budget, the government earmarked Rs.644 crore or Rs. 6.64 billion for NAIS, a scheme introduced in 1999-2000 for the kharif (autumn harvest) and rabi (spring harvest) crops.

The delay in clearing outstanding insurance claims would have put farmers to great hardship, as the targeted beneficiaries of the scheme are small and marginal farmers.

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