‘Insurance scheme not benefitting farmers’

Minister for Irrigation T. Harish Rao has alleged that the insurance scheme being implemented by the Union Government was benefitting only the companies and not the farmers who were paying the premium. He said that none of the farmers have benefitted so far though the banks were collecting amount from them while disbursing the loan amount.

Presiding over banker’s review meeting held at Collectorate in the district headquarters on Thursday, Mr. Harish came down heavily against the Union Government and questioned the rationale behind collecting premium from farmers.

“During 2013-14, an amount of Rs. 1,800 crore loan was extended to farmers but insurance amount was paid for Rs. 400 crore loan only. What happened to the remaining amount?” he asked and directed the bankers not to collect insurance amount from farmers here after.

However, bankers – Andhra Bank General Manager Venkateswara Rao and Insurance Officer Rajeswari – objected to the suggestion made by the Minister stating that it was not possible not to collect insurance amount as it was a directive from the Union Government and mandatory. With this, the meeting passed two resolutions – not to collect insurance mount, except for maize, without the consent of farmers and cotton insurance should be based on weather – unanimously, which would be forwarded to the State Level Banker’s Committee (SLBC) for consideration. The Minister also informed that some banks were not collecting insurance from farmers in Ranga Reddy district. While directing the bankers to meet their targets by September 20, the Minister said that he would hold another meeting on September 21 to review the progress. Both Mr. Harish Rao and Collector Rahul Bojja questioned the rationality behind not crediting the loan waiver amount into the credit of farmers though Rs. 63 crore was credited to State Bank of India. Dubbak legislator R. Ramalinga Reddy has alleged that some of the bankers have been retaining the pension amount for old loans which was highly objectionable. Some of the officers of various departments have also expressed displeasure over the functioning of banks. Deputy Speaker M. Padma Devender Reddy and others were present.

Source: The Hindu

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