Nagpur: Crop insurance companies have already paid compensation of ₹ 2,337 crore to farmers of the state, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis told the assembly on Tuesday, countering the opposition’s claim that crop insurance of only ₹ 747 crore was disbursed to farmers.
The crop insurance companies have found claims made by 4.4 million farmers eligible for financial assistance and have already settled the claims of more than 3.2 million farmers, Fadnavis said during an opposition-sponsored discussion on agrarian distress, “failure" of the farm loan waiver scheme, and denial of crop credit to farmers. This assistance worked out to be ₹ 12,000 per hectare, he said.
The chief minister said the state government had given financial assistance of ₹ 1,009 crore with an average compensation of ₹ 13,500 per hectare under the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), without waiting for assistance from the NDRF, to those farmers who lost their crop because of drought and pest attack.
On the opposition’s charge that cotton farmers who lost their crop because of bogus seeds of genetically modified Bt cotton had not been compensated, Fadnavis said the government had received more than 8 lakh claims for compensation. Of these, nearly 1.5 lakh claims have been verified and assistance of ₹ 96.3 crore had been disbursed, he said. The other claims are being verified and the state government had raised the strength of survey officials from 70 to 1,700, he said.
Opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) legislators claimed that more than 4.1 million farmers had been denied crop insurance claim. Of the total insurance claim of ₹ 2,269 crore, farmers had only been given ₹ 747 crore, the opposition said. The opposition also alleged that cotton farmers who lost crop worth ₹ 3,000 crore because of pink bollworm attack had also not been given the compensation promised by the government.
The farm loan waiver was originally worth ₹ 34,022 crore, but had been curtailed to ₹ 15,000 crore, opposition legislators said. The Congress and NCP members said the failure of the farm loan waiver scheme and farm policies of both the Modi government and the Fadnavis government had caused more than 17,000 farm suicides in the state in the last three and half years.