Fasal Bima Yojana: Farmers' Distress is Source of Profit for Companies -Subodh Varma
The Modi government paid Rs.34,859 crore and farmers paid Rs.7,255 crore to insurance companies in three crop seasons.
Among the series of schemes launched (or repackaged) by the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance government, one of the most toxic is the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY). Its purpose is to provide crop insurance to farmers, that is, if the crop fails due to some non-preventable reason, such as weather calamity etc., then the farmers will be compensated for this loss. The principle is sound – the government should take care of such losses which are very common in India since cultivation is largely dependent on monsoon rains.
What the Modi government did was to turn loss and distress of farmers into a profit-making enterprise. This happened through a well-established mechanism of insurance, a favoured model of the Modi government. In this model, which is being imposed on the healthcare system also through Ayushman Bharat, the government abdicates its own responsibility of providing a service and hands it over to companies. What could have been a straight forward service of compensating farmers for losses turns into government money being handed over to companies that dole out compensation and make enormous profits from it.
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