Crop insurance: Congress accuses Karnataka govt of colluding with firms | Bengaluru News


BENGALURU: Senior Congress legislator HK Patil on Friday accused the Karnataka government of colluding with the private insurance companies to help them in making profit of thousands of crores of rupees in the crop insurance scheme.
Patil — while taking part in the debate on floods and damages caused due to excessive rains in Karnataka in the legislative assembly — told the House that the gross premium cumulatively paid by the state government and farmers in 2019-20 for crop insurance was Rs 2,276 crore, but the claim payout from the insurance companies was just Rs 1,235 crore.
The sum assured for the scheme that year was Rs 9,830 crore.
“The farmers were supposed to get Rs 9,830 crore for the crop loss since that was the protected sum. The farmers were entitled to get that much money since that was the year when the state witnessed the worst calamity. The payout was just Rs 1,235 crore as against the paid premium of Rs 1,276 crore. That means the insurance companies made a profit close to Rs 1,000 crore,” Patil said.
Patil alleged that this has been the year-on-year phenomenon as he noted that the insurance companies paid just Rs 856 crore as against the paid gross premium of Rs 1,830 crore in 2017-18.
“I don’t blame the insurance companies for this, but I directly blame two departments — revenue and agriculture. It is these two departments which are helping the private insurance companies in making profits of thousands of crores of rupees,” he said.
“Is this scheme meant for ensuring profits for the private companies or for the rescue of farmers?”
Noting that there have been discrepancies even in disbursement of the claim payout, Patil said, “This clearly shows that the state government has connived with the insurance companies. I urge that the government should take this seriously and answer this during its reply.”
The government is expected to reply to the debate on Monday.
Pointing out that the insurance companies paid only Rs 26,393 crore as against the premium of Rs 32,000 crore at the national level, he said that the scheme has only been helping the owners of the insurance companies.
“Earlier no insurance company was coming forward to take up crop insurance since it was seen as a loss-making business. Now, the situation has been drastically changed. Those who are claiming that they have raised it to the level of third or second richest in the world have made profit to the tune of Rs 60,000 crore from the insurance business in the past two-three years,” Patil said.
Former agriculture minister and Congress member Krishna Byre Gowda intervened and said the crop insurance scheme has been rigged in favour of the insurance companies.
“The year 2019-20 was the worst calamitous year in the history of Karnataka and as per the basic principle of insurance, the farmers should have got at least five times of the paid gross premium. The insurance is to protect us from the worst days. That year the government estimated the losses to the tune of Rs 60,000 crore and it is pathetic that our farmers got only 50% of the premium,” he added.
Senior Congress member Eswar Khandre said Karnataka farmers received only Rs 6,021 crore as against the sum assured of Rs 6,621 crore in 2020-21 under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima scheme.
“While the state witnessed flooding that year too, the farmers should have got at least 50% of the sum assured. On the other hand, the insurance companies made a profit of more than Rs 1,000 crore as the claim paid out was less than 50% of premium paid,” Khandre said.





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