After Enrolment Falls, Agriculture Ministry Calls For A Penalty On Those Delaying Crop Insurance Settlement An Indian farmer carries paddy seedlings for planting in his agricultural field. (BIJU BORO/AFP/Getty Images)

The agriculture ministry has proposed penalties for those delaying crop insurance payments and incentives for those companies which pay early, The Hindu Business line has reported.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), the state government is supposed to provide yield data to insurance companies. Once companies receive yield data, they are supposed to assess damages and settle claims within three weeks.

“We want to encourage crop insurance companies and State governments that have to provide yield data, based on which crop assessments are done, to come forward to expedite the payments due to farmers. As per our proposal, whoever is causing the delay [in settling the claims] will be asked to pay the affected farmers the claim amount, together with a 12 per cent interest for the delayed period,” Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh told The Hindu Business Line.

Delays have been noticed in settling claims. In an answer in Rajya Sabha, the government said that claims worth Rs 11,899 crores were settled though Rs 13,768 crore claims had been approved during Kharif season of 2017. The delay in settlement of dues had led to a 17 per cent drop in enrolment of farmers for the scheme in 2017-18.

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