Senior journalist and activist, P. Sainath, said on Saturday that the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), launched by the NDA government in February 2016, is a bigger scam than the Rafale Deal. “The present government’s policies are anti-farmer. The PMFBY is a bigger racket than even the Rafale scam. Selected corporates like Reliance, Essar have been given the task of providing crop insurance,” said Sainath.
He explained this with an example from Maharashtra, ”Some 2.80 lakh farmers sowed soya in their farms. In a district, the farmers paid a premium of Rs 19.2 crore, the state government and the central govts. paid Rs 77 crore each, amounting to a total of Rs 173 crore, which was paid to Reliance insurance.” “The entire crop failed and the insurance company paid out the claims. Reliance paid Rs 30 crore in one district, giving it a total net profit of Rs 143 crore without investing a single rupee. Now multiply this amount to each of the districts it has been entrusted”.
Reliance General Insurance is a subsidiary of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) and has been at the centre of controversy in the now scrapped Jammu and Kashmir Employees Insurance scheme. A government order had made it mandatory for government employees in Jammu & Kashmir to buy Reliance Insurance, but the governor scrapped the scheme and said that that the policy was “full of frauds”. Sainath also said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government was withholding data on farmers’ suicide.
“The present government does not want those figures to get published. Data from the National Crime Records Bureau from 1995 to 2015 shows that during these 20 years, 3.10 lakh farmers committed suicide. Last two years’ data is being withheld.”Sainath added that farmers will be marching to the Parliament in Delhi to demand the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations. The Commission was set up in 2004 to look into the issue of farmers’ distress and farmers’ suicide. Sainath said, “This time we will be marching towards the Parliament on November 29-30 this year. Our demands are to have a minimum three-day discussion on the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations implementation. If Parliament can be called for GST at midnight, why not discuss farmers issues in the house?”
NewsCentral Staff, Nov 5, 2018 n