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Posted at: Jan 11, 2019, 6:58 AM; last updated: Jan 11, 2019, 6:58 AM (IST)

RTI: Pvt firms make a killing from crop insurance scheme

Pocket more than Rs 8,000 cr in two years; Rs 11 cr a day on average

Top 5 beneficiaries

  • HDFC: Rs 1,816 cr
  • Reliance:Rs 1,361 cr
  • Universal: Rs 1,195 cr
  • ICICI: Rs 1,193 cr
  • SBI: Rs 1,059 cr
RTI: Pvt firms make a killing from crop insurance scheme
Social actvist Dinesh Chadha speaks to media in Chandigarh on Thursday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Vishav Bharti
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, January 10

Rs 11 crore in a day! That was the average of profit of the private insurance companies from Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana in the past two financial years.

There were 18 companies that got contracts under the crop insurance scheme. Out of them just five are in public and 13 in the private sector.

So far in the two years of the scheme, all 18 companies earned profit of Rs 15,795 crore. However, a big share of the profit has gone to the private companies as they earned Rs 8,147 crore.

In year-wise break-up, in the 2016-17 financial year, the profit of 13 private companies was Rs 3,283 crore and in 2017-18, their profit was Rs 4,863 crore.

Among private insurance companies, 80 per cent of the profit went to just five companies. Among them, HDFC topped the chart with Rs 1,816 crore profit, followed by Reliance at 1,361 crore, Universal Sompo General Insurance Company Rs 1,195 crore, ICICI Rs 1,193 crore and SBI General Insurance Rs 1,059.

Besides, other major private beneficiaries were Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company at Rs 815 crore, followed by Bharti-AXA Insurance Company Rs 302 crore, Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company Rs 182 crore, Future General India Insurance Company Rs 111 crore and Shriram General Insurance Company Rs 107 crore.

Ropar-based activist Dinesh Chadha, who procured the information under the RTI Act, said the Central government should make its position clear on the scheme.

“The big corporate houses have been given bailouts in the name of poor farmers. The government owes answer to the people whether the scheme was started for the benefit of farmers or for big corporates?” he asked.

Earlier, rural affairs journalist P Sainath has already termed the scheme as one of the biggest scams in the history of independent India. He said the finance capital in alliance with the government had waged a war on poor farmers of the country.

The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana was started in 2016, aiming to provide financial support to farmers suffering from crop failure.

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