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Bhubaneshwar: Probe sought into irregularities in disbursing crop insurance claims

Dharmendra Pradhan
Photo Credit : IANS

Bhubaneswar: Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan urged his cabinet colleague Narendra Singh Tomar to order a probe into alleged malpractices in disbursing crop insurance claims under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) in Odisha.

After receiving complaint from farmers of Odisha’s Bargarh district, Pradhan met the Union Agriculture Minister in Delhi on Wednesday and requested him for a proper investigation towards the functioning of PMFBY and alleged malpractices by the officials of Odisha government during the crop cutting experiments (CCEs) during Kharif 2021 season.

Pradhan has also written a letter to Tomar on this issue. In Odisha, the responsibility of smoothly conducting CCEs are assigned to officials of revenue and disaster management, agriculture and farmer’s empowerment and planning and convergence departments with supervision by an ADM rank officer, he said.

“Sadly, CCEs have been conducted unscientifically without usage of proper technology to suit the insurance companies in a possible case of collusion between private insurance companies and government officials,” he said.

Due to such unholy nexus, in some gram panchayats, the payout rate is as low as 5 per cent against expected pay rate of 76.56 per cent, Pradhan pointed out.

Reacting to this letter of Pradhan, BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra said: “The people of Odisha have seen the anti-farmer attitude of BJP. Genuine Fasal Bima claims of farmers of Odisha were stopped for a long time. In spite of the regular follow up from Odisha chief minister and cooperation minister, the Centre was holding up the Fasal Bima of the farmers.”

After pressure from farmers and continuous follow up by the Chief Minister, the crop insurance claims are being released, he said.

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