Centre condones Odisha Govt’s crop yield data on 2015 drought

Bhubaneswar: The Centre today condoned Odisha government’s delay by four-and-a-half-months in submission of crop yield data based on the Crop Cutting Experiments (CCEs) for paddy crop during the Kharif-2015 season.

This was conveyed by Union Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh through a letter to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

“Response of the state government which has been received only on October 24, 2016 has been examined and it has been decided to condone the delay in submission of the yield data,” Singh wrote to Patnaik in the letter.

“The Government of India’s share shall be released once the state government releases its share to AIC (Agriculture Insurance Company of India),” Singh said a day after receiving Patnaik’s letter seeking early release of Rs 795.31 crore as the Centre’s share for settlement of the crop insurance claims made by farmers.

While justifying the Centre’s action, Singh said “I have had the matter examined and would like to inform you that the yield data based on Crop Cutting Experiments for paddy crop for Kharif-2015 was submitted by the state government to the AIC only on August 10, 2016 after a delay of around four-and-half months against the cut off date of March 31, 2016.”

The matter was referred by the AIC to the department, Singh said adding, certain clarifications were sought from the Odisha government with regard to justification for condonation of delay in submission of yield data by the state to AIC.

Yesterday, Patnaik in a letter to Singh, had said “I would be grateful if you would accord your approval to the delayed submission of the crop yield data for Kharif-2015 season and provide the Government of India share of Rs 795.31 crore immediately, so that claims could be released to 11.61 lakh farmers who are eligible for receiving insurance claims, pertaining to Kharif-2015.”

Though more than 21 lakh farmers were covered under the National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) during Kharif-2015, AIC had approved claims of Rs 1,776.34 crore, for Kharif, 2015 for Odisha on October 5, 2016.

In order to help the affected farmers to overcome the adverse effect of drought last year, Patnaik had said it was essential that their insurance claims were settled at the earliest without further delay.

The total claim approved by the AIC is Rs 1,776.34 crore, of which the state and Central share is Rs 795.31 crore each.