Gujarat farmers stage protests demanding crop insurance

first_imgFarmers across Gujarat have launched protests demanding immediate disbursal of crop insurance claims for the damage to their standing crops due to the unseasonal rains in October and the first week of November. The protests have been launched against the crop insurance companies, which are apparently not clearing the claims for groundnut, cotton, pulses and paddy in more than 20 districts. After the protests, Deputy CM Nitin Patel warned the companies of action if they did not process the claims and compensate the farmers who paid insurance premiums. “We have received several representations and even complaints against insurance companies. The government will be forced to take action if the insurance companies don’t compensate the farmers,” he told mediapersons in Gandhinagar. He said some companies were indulging in malpractices by curtailing the claim amounts to just 20-30% of what the farmers had claimed. Before Mr. Patel, senior BJP leader and former Agriculture Minister Dilip Sanghani also slammed the companies for not settling the claims. “I have come across several instances where crops have completely been destroyed due to unseasonal rains but insurance companies have approved only 20% of the claim amount. This is not acceptable and the government should hold them accountable,” he said. This year, Gujarat has witnessed prolonged monsoon with rainfall touching 146%, leading to extensive damage to crops in Saurashtra, North Gujarat and Central Gujarat districts. “The farmers have suffered extensive damage but are not getting compensation from the insurance companies,” said State Congress farmers’ wing leader Pala Ambalia. The party has supported the protests being organised at the taluka level in the affected districts. The State government on Saturday announced a financial package of ₹3,795 crore for the farmers whose crop was damaged. The aid will cover farmers whose crops were affected between October 15 and November 20. “The package will cover almost all the 56.36 lakh farmers whose crops suffered damage due to rains after the [south-west] monsoon [retreated],” Mr. Patel told mediapersons while announcing the package. The farmers in areas where rains were recorded in excess of 100 mm during the period will get ₹6,800 per hectare up to two hectares, as per the package.last_img