Farmers of Saurashtra got a Diwali gift as district cooperative banks in the region started disbursing crop insurance dues from this week.
The Rajkot District Cooperative Bank (RDC Bank) released Rs 574 crore to its 160 branches in the district on Tuesday. The branches would distribute the amount among 2.32 lakh farmers, who are members of 458 primary agricultural cooperative societies.
“The Agricultural Insurance Company of India Limited had granted claims of farmers and credited Rs 574 crore for Rajkot on October 25. After due process, the amount has been released to our branches for disbursement among farmers,” RDC Bank General Manager Chatur Tarpar said on Thursday.
District cooperative banks act as nodal agencies for crop insurance. They collect insurance premium to the tune of 3.5 per cent of crop loan they grant to a farmer. Tarpara said that on an average, the AIC had granted claim for 51 per cent damage to crop of cotton and groundnut in the district during the Kharif or monsoon season of year 2012-13.
“The insurance amount would be credited in the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) accounts of farmers. If a farmer has any KCC loan dues pending for year 2012-13, the crop insurance amount would be debited towards those dues. But he will have an option to withdraw the same amount as his crop insurance dues,” Tarpara said, adding that there was no KCC loan overdue for the year 2012-13 as the recovery had been around 99.98 per cent.
Incidentally, the Centre had announced interest subvention of 3 per cent and state government had declared subvention for the remaining 4 per cent, meaning farmers did not have to pay any interest on their crop loans. Following poor rainfall, crops had failed or yield had remained very low during 2012-13.
Rajkot district farmers have been awarded claims worth Rs 854 crorem of which, 574 crore is to be disbursed by RDC Bank and the rest by nationalised commercial banks. Similarly, crops insurance claims worth Rs 75 crore of farmers of Bhavnagar district have also been granted. Around 1.5 lakh farmers of Bhavnagar, who had availed of KCC loan worth Rs 605 crore collectively, will get the benefit.