According a Right to Information (RTI) query, it has been revealed that more than 84 lakh farmers withdrew themselves from the union government’s ambitious Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) in 2017-18. The number is around 15 per cent of the total number of farmers who had insured themselves under the scheme.
On the other hand, the insurance companies associated with the scheme, including Reliance, ICICI, HDFC and IFFCO, among others, have registered a profit of around ₹15,795 crore since the launch of the scheme. According to the RTI filed by activist P.P. Kapoor, these companies registered a profit of approximately ₹6,459 crore in 2016-17.
Of the total number, 68.31 lakh farmers who discontinued with the insurance scheme are from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled States of Madhya Pradesh, Maharasthra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
In 2016-17, the total number of farmers who opted for the insurance scheme was 5,72,17,159, which dropped down to 4,87,70,515 in 2017-18.
Rajasthan saw the highest number of farmers withdrawing themselves from the scheme, 31,25,025, followed by Maharashtra with 19,46,992, Uttar Pradesh with 14,69,052 and Madhya Pradesh with 2,90,312.
On the other hand, insurance companies minted money by making a profit of around ₹15,795 crore in two years (and the figures of profit margins might change after claims for Rabi crops for 2017-18 are estimated).
Kapoor told The Hindu that the scheme was nothing but a ” fiasco” and could have done better had the government directly helped the farmers without involving the insurance companies.