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Don’t hike premium on crop insurance, Naveen tells Pawar

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OST Bureau

Bhubaneswar, Dec 18:

pawar

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today urged Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar to keep the premium rate of the proposed National Crop Insurance Programme (NCIP) at the level of the National Agriculture Insurance Scheme (NAIS) for the benefit of farmers in the state since they cannot afford to pay the high premium rate in the scheme.

“Now, the government of India has decided to replace NAIS with NCIP from Rabi 2013-14. It is estimated that the premium payable by the farmers will be much higher than what would have been charged under NAIS. The farmers of Odisha had opposed the high rate of premium under Modified National Agricultural Scheme (MNAIS), which was implemented on a pilot basis during last five years, during Kharif 2013 for which the scheme had to be withdrawn by state government from six district,” said the chief minister in a letter to Agriculture Minister Sharad Power.

He urged the Agriculture Minister to introduce the new scheme on crop insurance while keeping the premium rate at the level of NAIS, since poor farmers cannot buy insurance at high cost.

“This is very important since crop loan is being advanced to the farmers at the effective interest rate of 2% with subvention being provided by the state government,” said the Chief Minister.

Notably, the premium rates in NAIS, being implemented since Rabi 1999-2000, were 2.5% and 2% for paddy for Khariff and Rabi respectively.

The Modified National Agriculture Insurance Scheme (MNAIS) and Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS) were implemented in Odisha on pilot basis for the past five years, but were not accepted by the farmers either because of the high rate of premium or unattractive pay out structure.