Landless labourers can take benefits of crop insurance: Govt

RSTV Bureau
File photo: Radha Mohan Singh, Agriculture and Farmer's Welfare Minister in the Rajya Sabha.

File photo: Radha Mohan Singh, Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare Minister in the Rajya Sabha.

The benefits of crop insurance scheme can be availed of by the landless labourers too in case they pay the insurance premium and sign an agreement with the land-owner for tilling their land, the government told the Rajya Sabha today.

Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, while replying to questions, said the money under various schemes will reach the states in the first week of April, against late May earlier, as for the first time, the budget process has been advanced.

He hoped the states will make use of schemes and spend the amounts earmarked.

Referring to Punjab, he said the state has so far not implemented the Prime Minister’s Fasal Bima Yojna (PMFBY) and it is hoped that the new government there will implement it in the near future for the farmers to avail of the benefits.

Replying to questions, Minister of State for Agriculture Prushottam Rupala said, “If the state government (of Punjab) notifies the scheme, the benefits can also be availed of by those landless labourers who till the fields, provided they sign an agreement with the land-owner and pay the insurance premium.”

In his written reply, Singh said, a total amount of Rs 586.55 crore has been provided to Punjab under various heads for upliftment of farmers in the state.

Radha Mohan Singh said most states, including Punjab do not spend the allocated amounts under various schemes and thus the farmers of the state are unable to derive the benefits under various central schemes.

He said in Punjab alone, a sum of Rs 42.93 crore was allocated for 2015-16 for micro irrigation, out of which the state spent only Rs 9.45 crore.

“Many states are like this as the allocation is much more but money is not spent,” he said.

To another question, he said, during 2010-15 a total sum of Rs 21,000 crore was given to Punjab as part of central taxes, which has since been tripled to Rs 63,000 crore for the period 2015-2020 and hoped the farmers of the state will benefit.