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Centre makes crop insurance scheme voluntary for farmers 


NEW DELHI:  In a revamp of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna, the Cabinet in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its nod to making the enrolment of farmers under the scheme voluntary. Earlier, it was mandatory for farmers to enroll under the PMFBY.

The Cabinet approval to the PMFBY revamps also included the change in norms to enlist the insurers for a three-year period. Union minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters that the tendering for one-year insurance reported most of the complaints.

He also said that the Centre would bear 90 percent of the premium costs for the Northeastern states against the earlier provision of 50 percent. For other states, the Centre contributes 50 percent of the premium, while the states have to pitch in with matching contributions.

Also, the Centre and states will provide for three percent of the total amount for administrative cost in implementing the scheme.  In another decision, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given a nod for the formation of 10,000 farmers’ producers' organizations in five years.

With the help of the FPOs, the farmers may collectively access the latest know-how and types of equipment for better productivity, the government said.

In another decision, the Cabinet approved Phase II of Swachh Bharat Mission, with an aim to address the issue of solid waste management.  Phase II will focus on ODF (open defecation free). The Cabinet also cleared the convergence of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme with Swachh Bharat. 

“The Phase-II will be implemented from 2020-21 to 2024-25 in a mission mode with a total outlay of Rs 1,40,881 crore. This will be a novel model of convergence between different verticals of financing. Of this Rs 52,497 crore will be allocated from the budget of the drinking water and sanitation department.

while the remaining amount will be dovetailed from the funds being released under the 15th Finance Commission, MGNREGS and revenue generation models particularly for solid and liquid waste management,” said a government statement.