Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 29 August 2020

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 29 August 2020

In Today’s News:

  1. Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana(PMFBY).

1. Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana(PMFBY)

News Summary

Tamilnadu Government has planned to continue with Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana even as many states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat are pulling out of the scheme. The high coverage of farmers with the payment of compensation in times of crop loss is one of the main reasons for the State government to continue with the scheme.

Prelims GS – Governance

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana(PMFBY):
  • Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) aims at supporting sustainable production in the agriculture sector by way of –
    • a) providing financial support to farmers suffering crop loss/damage arising out of unforeseen events
    • b) stabilizing the income of farmers to ensure their continuance in farming
    • c) encouraging farmers to adopt innovative and modern agricultural practices
    • d) ensuring the flow of credit to the agriculture sector; which will contribute to food security, crop diversification, and enhancing growth and competitiveness of the agriculture sector besides protecting farmers from production risks.
  • There will be a uniform premium of only 2% to be paid by farmers for all Kharif crops and 1.5% for all Rabi crops.
  • In the case of annual commercial and horticultural crops, the premium to be paid by farmers will be only 5%.
  • The premium rates to be paid by farmers are very low and the balance premium will be paid by the Government to provide a full insured amount to the farmers against crop loss on account of natural calamities.
  • The use of technology will be encouraged to a great extent. Smartphones will be used to capture and upload data of crop cutting to reduce the delays in claim payment to farmers. Remote sensing will be used to reduce the number of crop cutting experiments.
Risks covered under PMFBY:

Following risks leading to crop loss are to be covered under the scheme:-

Yield losses(standing crops, on a notified area basis):
  • Comprehensive risk insurance is provided to cover yield losses due to non-preventable risks, such as
    • (i) Natural Fire and Lightning
    • (ii) Storm, Hailstorm, Cyclone, Typhoon, Tempest, Hurricane, Tornado etc.
    • (iii) Flood, Inundation, and Landslide
    • (iv) Drought, Dry spells
    • (v) Pests/ Diseases etc.
Prevented Sowing (on a notified area basis):-
  • In cases where a majority of the insured farmers of a notified area, having an intent to sow/plant and incurred expenditure for the purpose, are prevented from sowing/planting the insured crop due to adverse weather conditions, shall be eligible for indemnity claims up to a maximum of 25% of the sum insured
Post-harvest losses (individual farm basis):
  • Coverage is available up to a maximum period of 14 days from harvesting for those crops which are kept in “cut & spread” condition to dry in the field after harvesting, against specific perils of cyclone / cyclonic rains, unseasonal rains throughout the country.
Localized Calamities (individual farm basis):
  • Loss/damage resulting from the occurrence of identified localized risks i.e. hailstorm, landslide, and Inundation affecting isolated farms in the notified area.

Click here to visit the official website of PMFBY.

Mini Insights

Mains GS3 – Agriculture

Revamping of PMFBY and RWBCIS:

(Note: The points given below are directly taken from the Official PIB Press Release of the Government of India)

It is proposed to modify certain parameters/provisions of ongoing schemes of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)” and “Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBCIS) as under:

  1. Allocation of business to Insurance Companies to be done for three years (Both PMFBY/RWBCIS).
  2. The option shall be given to States/UTs to choose the Scale of Finance or district level Value of Notional Average Yield (NAY) i.e. NAY* Minimum Support Price (MSP) as Sum Insured for any district crop combination (Both PMFBY/RWBCIS). The farmgate price will be considered for the other crops for which MSP is not declared.
  3. Central Subsidy under PMFBY/RWBCIS to be limited for premium rates up to 30% for unirrigated areas/crops and 25% for irrigated areas/crops. Districts having 50% or more irrigated areas will be considered as irrigated areas/districts (Both PMFBY/RWBCIS).
  4. Flexibility to States/UTs to implement the Scheme with the option to select any or many of additional risk covers/features like prevented sowing, localized calamity, mid-season adversity, and post-harvest losses. Further, States/UT can offer specific single peril risk/insurance covers, like a hailstorm, etc, under PMFBY even with or without opting for base cover (Both PMFBY/RWBCIS).
  5. States not to be allowed to implement the Scheme in subsequent Seasons in case of considerable delay by States in the release of requisite Premium Subsidy to concerned Insurance Companies beyond a prescribed time limit. Cut-off dates for invoking this provision for Kharif and Rabi seasons will be 31st March and 30th September of successive years respectively (Both PMFBY/RWBCIS).
  6. For estimation of crop losses/admissible claims, the Two-Step Process to be adopted based on defined Deviation matrix” using specific triggers like weather indicators, satellite indicators, etc. for each area along with normal ranges and deviation ranges. Only areas with deviations will be subject to Crop Cutting Experiments (CCEs) for assessment of yield loss (PMFBY).
  7. Technology solutions like Smart Sampling Technique (SST) and optimization of the number of CCEs to be adopted in conducting CCEs (PMFBY).
  8. In case of non-provision of yield data beyond cut-off date by the States to implementing Insurance Companies, claims to be settled based on yield arrived through the use of Technology solution (PMFBY alone).
  9. Enrolment under the Scheme to be made voluntary for all farmers (Both PMFBY/RWBCIS).
  10. Central Share in Premium Subsidy to be increased to 90% for the North Eastern States from the existing sharing pattern of 50:50 (Both PMFBY/RWBCIS).
  11. Provisioning of at least 3% of the total allocation for the Scheme to be made by the Government of India and Implementing State Governments for administrative expenses. This shall be subject to an upper cap fixed by DAC&FW for each State (Both PMFBY/RWBCIS).
  12. Besides above, the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation, and Farmers Welfare in consultation with other stakeholders/agencies will prepare/develop State-specific, alternative risk mitigation programs for crops/areas having a high rate of premium. Further, as the scheme is being made voluntary for all farmers, therefore, to provide financial support and effective risk mitigation tools through crop insurance especially to 151 districts which are highly water-stressed including 29 which are doubly stressed because of low income of farmers and drought, a separate, scheme in this regard would also be prepared.
  13. The concerned provisions/parameters of the scheme and operational guidelines of the PMFBY and RWBCIS shall be modified to incorporate the above said modifications and shall be made operational from Kharif 2020 season.

 

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