Gujarat leader alleges scam in crop insurance scheme

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Gandhinagar, Aug 28 (IANS) Leader of Opposition in the Gujarat Assembly Paresh Dhanani on Tuesday alleged an over Rs 100,000 crore scam in Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), claiming that private insurance companies were benefitting at the exchequer’s cost.

“By making this central scheme mandatory for farmers and bringing in private players instead of Agriculture Insurance Company of India (AIC), the NDA government is pulling off a scam of Rs one lakh crore, eventually benefiting private insurance companies,” Dhanani told reporters here.

He said that the AIC earlier insured crops of farmers who opted voluntarily. “But after the NDA came to power in 2014, the AIC was replaced by private insurance companies and farmers were forced to go for renamed Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.”

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Dhanani claimed that private players were now being paid a hefty premium of over 50 per cent from the state and central treasuries.

“In my constituency in Amreli district, 41 per cent of the insurance premium was agreed to be paid to the insurance companies by the government in 2015. The figure was 53 per cent in 2016 and 55 per cent in 2017-18. Out of this premium, farmers pay two per cent, while the rest is paid by state and central governments,” he said.

“This totals roughly over Rs 1,00,000 crore which has been paid to private insurance companies across the country in NDA rule. These companies have not even carried out proper survey for claims assessment.”

–IANS

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