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“A scam bigger than Rafale”: P. Sainath on Modi government’s Fasal Bima Yojana

From The Business Standard: “Selected companies like Reliance, Essar have been given the task of providing crop insurance. In just one Maharashtra district, where the soya crop failed, Reliance earned a net profit of Rs 143 crore without investing a single rupee. Now, multiply this amount to each of the districts it has been entrusted.”

Business Standard/IANS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government’s crop insurance schemes for farmers is a bigger scam than even the Rafale scam, said renowned journalist and farmers issue activist P. Sainath has said.

“The present government’s policies are anti-farmer. The Pradhanmantri Bima Fasal Yojana is a bigger racket than even the Rafale scam. Selected corporates like Reliance, Essar have been given the task of providing crop insurance,” said Sainath.

Sainath was in the city to address the Kisan Swaraj Sammelan, a three-day event going on since Friday, on issues and solutions related to the farming sector in the country.

Citing an example of Maharashtra, Sainath said: “Some 2.80 lakh farmers sowed soya in their farms. In a district, the farmers paid a premium of Rs 19.2 crore, the state government and the central governments paid Rs 77 crore each, amounting to a total of Rs 173 crore, which was paid to Reliance insurance.

“The entire crop failed and the insurance company paid out the claims. Reliance paid Rs 30 crore in one district, giving it a total net profit of Rs 143 crore without investing a single rupee. Now multiply this amount to each of the districts it has been entrusted,” he said.

On the other hand, there are also concerns about the farmers, especially the tenant farmers.

“For the last 20 years, everyday 2,000 farmers are leaving farming. There is a steep decline in the farmers owning land and rise in farmers becoming tenants. About 86 per cent land owning farmers and 80 per cent tenant farmers are in debt,” added the senior journalist.

“Gradually we are farmers are losing farming to corporates. Even though there is more than 55 per cent population that is rural in Maharashtra, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)’s distribution of cash flow was to Mumbai, where there is no agriculture,” said Sainath.

Commenting on the issue of farmers’ suicide in the country, he said: “The present government does not want those figures to get published. Data from the National Crime Records Bureau from 1995 to 2015 shows that during these 20 years, 3.10 lakh farmers committed suicide. Last two years’ data is being withheld.”

Sainath also spoke about how these issues and other can be tackled. He talked about a march in the national capital by the farmers similar to the one in Mumbai in March.

“This time we will be marching towards the Parliament on November 29-30 this year. Our demands are to have a minimum three-day discussion on the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations implementation. If Parliament can be called for GST at midnight, why not discuss farmers issues in the house?” he asked

The All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee has given this march call for all the farmers organisations.


How the PM’s Crop Insurance Scheme Turned Into a Goldmine for 10 Private Insurers
The Wire
The Prime Minister’s crop insurance scheme ended up being a goldmine for ten private insurance companies, and the lone government insurer, with a total profit of nearly Rs 16,000 crore in profit from the scheme in just two years. The scheme also failed to enthuse farmers. In just four BJP-ruled states, over 84 lakh farmers exited the scheme after just a year. This information has been obtained by an activist through Right to Information appeals. The applications were filed by Haryana-based RTI activist P.P. Kapoor on September 12 with the ministry of agriculture.

The Big Private Crop Insurance Scam: Farmers Pay Premium of Rs 482, Receive Rs 5 as Insurance!
M. Mahalingam, The Citizen
Farmers of Tamil Nadu continue to be at the receiving end of an indifferent and callous state. After paying huge premiums of Rs 212 for corn, and Rs 482 for cotton, farmers received crop insurance cheques of Rs 5, Rs 7 and Rs 10 in many parts of the state under the Prime Ministers scheme Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. Karuppu Samy, Manivannan, Thangaraj and other farmers belonging to villages Manjanaicken Patti, Poduvar Patti, Kalipatti in the Oddanchatram taluk of Dindigul district in the state of Tamil Nadu received the cheques of Rs.5, Rs.10 and Rs.20 for the failure of crops like corn and cotton being distributed by the private insurance companies and state cooperative banks.

Crop insurers made Rs 10,000 crore profit amid agrarian crisis: CSE
Hindustan Times
An independent evaluation of the Modi government’s much-touted crop insurance scheme has showed that insurers gained nearly Rs 10,000 crore in gross profit during the last kharif season, from June to November 2016. However, it settled less than a third of the crop-loss claims filed till early this year. The report released on Friday by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) showed state-level “implementation gaps” in the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), which replaced the previous National Agricultural Insurance Scheme in April 2016. These discrepancies could negate the benefits accorded by the scheme to farmers, the non-profit think tank said.


Farmers’ protests reveal growing anger against India’s development model
Ashish Kothari & Aseem Shrivastava
The growing protests of farmers around the country-last month’s protests in Mumbai being the latest-is not just a claim for dignity. Even more portentously, it calls into question the paradigmatic rationality of the reigning development model. Alternatives do exist, practised and conceived of at hundreds of sites in India.

Are farmers ‘collateral damage’ of India’s economic growth?
Sanjiv Phansalkar
People living in villages, who are migrating in large numbers to cities, could be victims of our economic development or perhaps the dismal income growth of farm households is semi-deliberate to keep labour costs low… Are our rural brothers victims or collateral damage of economic development, of a deliberate though unstated strategy, asks Sanjiv Phansalkar.

India has sacrificed agriculture on the altar of GDP
Devinder Sharma
The real cost of economic reforms is being borne by rural India. The first-ever Socio Economic Census has now clearly brought out this stark reality… The economic wealth of 15 families in India equals that of 600 million people… On the other hand, 60-crore farmers are paying the price for unjust economic reforms.


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2 Responses ““A scam bigger than Rafale”: P. Sainath on Modi government’s Fasal Bima Yojana”

  1. Raghavan K V
    11th November 2018 at 6:34 pm

    Allegation is allegation only, it has nothing to do with reality. It is advisable to know the total turnover of Reliance insurance company before making such allegation.

  2. Sandhya Sri
    18th January 2019 at 3:02 pm

    BJP has brilliantly made the poor people poorer in this country. While the rich are getting richer, farmers are dying a miserable death. Sad state of our country.

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