The government has made Aadhaar mandatory for availing crop insurance policies from the upcoming kharif sowing season.
The Agriculture Ministry has issued a directive to rural financial institutes to comply with the new rule from the kharif (summer) season starting April 1.
“The Government of India has notified that farmers availing crop insurance schemes administered/implemented by the Department of Agriculture from kharif 2017 are hereby required to undergo Aadhaar authentication or furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar,” said the directive.
Government has also directed the union and State Agriculture Ministries to open Aadhar-enrollment centres at various convenient locations to enable smooth and quick enrollment.
The banks have been asked to persuade farmers to furnish Aadhaar identification card at the time of sanction/renewal/ disbursement/inspection of the loan or on visit at bank branches, it said.
Farmers who are yet to enrol for Aadhaar are required to get one. The state governments will have to arrange or offer enrolment facilities for beneficiaries.
Till the time Aadhaar is assigned to an individual, crop insurance under any of the government-run schemes – Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) and Restructured Weather-based Crop Insurance (RWBCI) may be availed by farmers by furnishing documents such as bank passbook, Aadhaar enrolment ID slip, voter ID and MGNREGA job card.
“Till Aadhaar number is assigned to any individual, the benefit will continue to be given based on alternate means of identification,” said a statement issued by the Cabinet Secretariat.
Farmers can also furnish driving licence along with a copy of request made for Aaadhar. But these documents will be verified by designated state government officials, the notification added.
Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) and Restructured Weather-based Crop Insurance (RWBCI) provide a comprehensive insurance cover against failure of crop. Under these schemes, premium to be paid by farmers are fixed lower.
Government has identified around 19.4 million hectares of land for the ambitious Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).
Preliminary figures suggest that around 1.64 crore farmers have been brought under the ambit of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana and weather-based crop insurance scheme as against 1.75 crore farmers which opted for insurance in previous rabi season.