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Panel ‘disappointed’ about no data on complaints resolved under PMFBY

The Standing Committee on Agriculture urged the government to maintain records of complaint resolution under the PMFBY, for its effective implementation

A farmer ploughing his flooded rice field. Photo: Wikipedia

The parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture was ‘surprised and disappointed’ to know that there was no data about the complaints resolved by grievance redressal committees (GRC) under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).

The Committee urged the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department to maintain a record on the types of grievances resolved by such committees, in its report presented to both Houses of Parliament August 10, 2021.

It said having such a record would provide information on the work done by these committees. It would also help in understanding the shortcomings and subsequently rectifying the scheme’s implementation.

The PMFBY was launched in April 2016 “to include more risks under crop insurance cover and to make it more understandable and affordable to the farmers,” the report noted.

District Level Grievance Redressal Committees (DGRC) and State Level Grievance Redressal Committees (SGRC) have been formed under the revised operational guidelines of the scheme with effect from the 2018-19 Rabi Season.

These are mandated to redress the grievances of farmers, banks, insurance companies and district authority.

So far, 15 states and Union territories have notified both DGRCs and SGRCs, according to the report. Some states like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Rajasthan have also formed taluka Level GRCs to strengthen the grievance redressal system.

The Committee also urged the ministry that GRCs be formed at different levels in all the remaining states and Union territories to resolve farmers’ grievances regarding rejections of their insurance claims and delays in payment.

It also called for local public representatives such as members of Parliament and legislative assemblies to be nominated in DGRCs. This would ensure accountability of concerned stakeholders and enhance the acceptability of PMFBY amongst farmers, the report said.

The ministry should also provide a toll-free number of three-four digits for queries regarding PMFBY, registration of complaints by farmers and information regarding action taken on their complaints, the Committee recommended.

It also urged the popularisation of the number and added that complaints were to be attended in a time-bound manner for effective implementation of PMFBY.

The Committee’s report, its twenty-ninth, was titled ‘Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana – An evaluation’.

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