Bengaluru: Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) Chairman Subhash Chandra Khuntia on Friday urged the state-run insurance companies to settle claims of farmers on crop loss at the earliest.
“Insurance companies should set up call centres to answer queries of farmers without delay and settle their claims soon,” said Khuntia at the first national review conference on Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).
PMFBY, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February 2016, is the state-sponsored crop insurance scheme, providing financial support to millions of farmers suffering from crop losses across the country.
With about 50 per cent of the country’s workforce employed in the agriculture sector, there was a need to strengthen the redress mechanism of the crop insurance scheme, Khuntia said.
“Insurance companies, state governments and banks should appoint staff to create awareness about the scheme among small and medium farmers to utilise its benefits,” he stressed.
Crop-cutting experiments to estimate the yield of crops must be held by the insurance companies in a fair and transparent manner, the former chief secretary of Karnataka added.
“Central and state governments should jointly implement the scheme and alert the farmers about the adverse weather conditions to reduce the risk,” the IRDAI chief said.
The insurance firms should appoint a person in each district for farmers to reach the companies easily, southern state’s Agriculture Department secretary M. Maheshwar Rao pointed out.
The two-day conference will be held in this tech hub till Saturday with discussions on subjects like performance evaluation of PMFBY, the role of technology in current crop insurance and implementation issues and challenges of crop insurance.
Representatives of state governments, state-run banks, insurance firms, co-operative banks and others were part of the conference.