Govt approves changes in PMFBY to make it optional for farmers


Amritsar: A farmer inspects his wheat crop damaged by strong winds and rains, on the outskirts of Amritsar, Tuesday, April 16, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Amritsar: A farmer inspects his wheat crop. (PTI Photo)

The government on Wednesday approved major changes in the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) making it optional for farmers with a view to plug loopholes in the farm insurance scheme.

Under the PMFBY, which was launched in February 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it is mandatory for loanee farmers to take insurance cover under this scheme.

Currently, 58 per cent of the total farmers are loanee.

The Union Cabinet has approved many changes in the PMFBY programme as farmers’ body and states were raising some concerns, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told reporters here.

The Minister said the PMFBY scheme has been made optional.

Highlighting the achievements of this scheme, Tomar said the insurance programme has covered 30 per cent of the cultivable area.

The Minister said insurance claims worth Rs 60,000 crore have been cleared, while Rs 13,000 crore premiums have been collected.

The government on Wednesday approved a Rs 4,558-crore scheme to promote the dairy sector which will benefit about 95 lakh farmers.

Briefing reporters about the decisions taken by the Cabinet, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said that this scheme will take the “White revolution” to the next level.

He further said that the Cabinet has also decided to raise the benefit under the interest subvention scheme from 2 per cent to 2.5 per cent.

Both the decisions are aimed at benefitting the farming community, the I&B Minister added.