Pradhan writes to Tomar, seeks probe into farmers' insurance scheme implementation in Odisha

11:12 AM Nov 17, 2022 | PTI |

Claiming that irregularities have been committed in paying insurance sum to farmers in Odisha under a central scheme, Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan sought a probe into the alleged malpractices.


Pradhan, who held a meeting with farmers during his recent visit to Bargarh district, urged Union Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar to institute an investigation into the ”scam” pulled off in the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), and review the sum paid by the insurance company enlisted by the state government under the central scheme.

”Keeping in mind the severity of this scam and the urgent need to provide justice to the aggrieved farmers, I take this opportunity to request you to probe this matter at your personal level and order a proper investigation towards the functioning of PMFBY and alleged malpractices by the officials of government of Odisha during CCEs (crop cutting experiment),” he wrote in a letter to Tomar.

Pradhan also sought a probe into the ”conduct of private insurance companies empanelled in the PMFBY in Odisha, especially in Bargarh district”.

Notably, bypoll to Padmapur assembly seat in Bargarh is scheduled to be held on December 5.


The education minister, in the letter, said that the issue was being raised by him after having received a petition from the farmers, who claimed that they received ”abysmally low insurance sum” for crop loss due to drought during the 2021 Kharif season.

”The petitioners have alleged that private insurance companies are colluding with government officials and manipulating CCE (Crop Cutting Experiment) data resulting in lower-than-expected insurance payout. CCEs were being carried out in an unscientific manner without proper technology to suit interests of insurance companies,” Pradhan added.

Responding to the allegations, the ruling BJD said that the state has no role to play in the central scheme.

”By talking of some kind of collusion in the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, he (Pradhan) has, in fact, charged his own (central) government with irregularities. The Centre should now admit if it has failed to run a welfare programme,” BJD spokesperson and MP Sasmit Patra told reporters here.

The BJD does not believe in politicising farmers’ issues, he asserted.

Alleging that the BJP has, all along, adopted an ”anti-farmer attitude”, Patra said this is another ”classic example of the saffron party trying to mislead the farmers of Odisha by hiding the fact that it was the Centre which was blocking the payment of crop insurance”. He claimed that Pradhan’s letter to Tomar had no merit.

”The scheme is called Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. Therefore, the fasal bima has to be paid by the BJP-led Centre. However, the Centre delayed payment for months. Despite regular follow-up by the Odisha Chief Minister, the Centre had held up the funds. It was after the farmers’ raised their voice, the insurance sum was paid to them,” Patra added.


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