‘Denied’ crop insurance claims, Odisha farmers lock up banks

Bargarh/Bhubaneswar: Farmers of Bargarh district staged protests and locked up banks alleging that even though crop loss reports have been submitted to the concerned insurance companies, they are being deprived of their claims.

As per reports, the insurance companies have denied disbursal of insurance claims due to anomalies in data related to crop cutting and actual yield for Kharif Season 2017.

Alleging insurance companies of dilly-dallying, farmers in Bargarh district today locked up a branch of the State Bank of India (SBI) and the Sambalpur District Co-operative Central Bank, Bargarh – where they have been depositing their premiums.

“We have been claiming insurance for the loss of our Kharif crop due to drought last year. However, no one is concerned about our woes. So, we have decided to lock up the banks where we had been depositing the insurance premium for our crops,” said secretary of farmers association & coordination society, Kishore Chandra Debata.

As per sources, three insurance companies which have been roped in under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) – Tata AIG Insurance, Agriculture Insurance and Chola MS – have already written to the Odisha Agriculture department about irregularities in crop cutting and actual yield data due to which they denied insurance claims.

After getting the letters from the companies, the department has written to the Director of Agriculture and Food Production, Odisha about the companies’ allegations, informed sources.

Meanwhile, the Odisha Agriculture department has accepted discrepancies in crop cutting and actual yield reports.

The director of agriculture and the directorate of economics and statistics have been ordered to carry out a joint verification into the allegations made by the companies and to resolve the issue, said Agriculture Minister, Pradeep Maharathy.

“Those who have lost their crops will definitely get insurance claims.

– Maharathy assured.

Cooperation minister, Surya Narayan Patro said that the insurance firms are bound to give the premium amount to the deserving farmers.

“The panchayats where there are no reports of discrepancies will be first covered and the ones having issues will be sorted out soon through mutual discussions,” said Patro.