No weather-based index insurance for fisher folk: Govt

The Department of Fisheries has no proposal for providing a weather-based index insurance scheme to cover the loss suffered by the fishing community due to adverse climatic changes, the Parliament was told on Tuesday.

However, there is a scheme that provides for insurance for normal circumstances, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying Minister Parshottam Rupala told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

Be it inland fisheries or marine, the changing climatic conditions have posed multiple hazards, including increasing instances of floods and cyclones, for fisher folks over the years.

The draft National Fisheries Policy does recommend insurance of life, craft and gear and other assets of fishers from the vagaries of nature, he said.

On what the government does for the fishing community, the Minister said that the Department is implementing a flagship scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) with the highest-ever investment of Rs 20,050 crore for a period of five years with effect from 2020-21 to 2024- 25 across India.

The PMMSY provides livelihood and nutritional support for socio-economically backward active traditional fishers’ families during the fishing ban/lean period under which governmental financial assistance at the rate of Rs 1,500 per month is paid for three months annually.

This comes from Rs 3,000 per annum provided to each enrolled beneficiary along with beneficiary contribution of Rs 1,500 annually. The PMMSY also provides support for insurance to fishers and insurance premium subvention for fishing vessels under its Centrally Sponsored scheme component.

Insurance coverage for fisher folks includes Rs 5,00,000 against accidental death or permanent total disability, Rs 2,50,000 for permanent partial disability and insurance coverage for hospitalisation expenses in the event of accident for a sum of Rs 25,000, the Minister said.

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