Mysuru: It is not only that farmers are in distress due to drought but they are also not being paid crop insurance on time adding to their woes. This fact was brought out by Zilla Panchayat Standing Committee for Social Justice President Beerihundi Basavanna.
Blaming the insurance companies and the Agriculture Department for not releasing the insurance amount, Basavanna addressing the Karnataka Development Programme (KDP) review meeting, at the ZP office, here yesterday said that crop insurance companies, identified under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, had not paid the amount to farmers for crop loss.
He said that as representatives of the people, they had to bear the brunt of the farmers as they had forced the farmers to pay the insurance premium amount. “Now, the farmers are reluctant to pay the premium amount,” he added.
Basavanna pointed out that the farmers in the State have paid Rs 1,600 crore as premium amount but the companies have paid only Rs. 900 crore as compensation and charged that the insurance companies were exploiting the farmers.
The officials however, claimed that because of a few technical glitches there was a delay and assured to take necessary steps in the interest of the farmers. An official said that this time only 3,000 farmers have paid the insurance premium.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Agriculture and Industries Standing Committee Dayanandmurthy took the Joint Director of Agriculture Somasundra to task for not putting pressure on the insurance companies to pay the compensation amount to farmers. He (Somasundra) clarified that he had already spoken to them and they had agreed to settle the amount within two weeks.
Basavanna also suspected irregularities in fodder distribution and asked the Animal Husbandry department officials to provide details. When they failed to provide the details, he demanded that the DC should clarify on this issue.
Reacting to this, ZP Chief Executive Officer (CEO) P. Shivashankar said that the DC is answerable only to the government and not to the committee. Opposing this stand, Basavanna wondered why the DC should not be answerable to the committee.
Basavanna said that there were various sponsored schemes that come under D. Devaraj Urs Development Corporation, Valmiki Development Corporation and Backward Classes Welfare Department. These corporations had identified beneficiaries but a few banks were not releasing the amount to them, as they were demanding that there should be regular transactions in the bank by the beneficiaries.
Lead Bank Manager Shivalingaiah said that since the corporation officials were not forwarding the applications on time, there was a delay in release of funds.
Basavanna directed all Corporations to forward the applications before September 30. ZP President Nayeema Sulthana and President of Health and Education standing committee H.E. Jayalakshmi Rajanna were present at the meeting.