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Few takers for farm insurance

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI : The Centre on Tuesday admitted in the Rajya Sabha that the National Agriculture Insurance Scheme (NAIS) was not working on the ground. The Ministry of Agriculture was "examining" the issue.

Answering supplementaries during Question Hour, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said the NAIS was mandatory for all farmers who were taking institutional crop loans. However, for those who were non-loanee farmers or were not taking the institutional loans, the scheme was optional. Perhaps for this reason the scheme had not picked up. In the case of Varsha Bima scheme, which was a "pure insurance scheme" with no subsidy component , there were no takers. "In the absence of subsidy, many farmers may not opt for it," he said.

The NAIS covers paddy, wheat, jowar, bajra, maize, ragi, varieties of gram, oilseeds, sugarcane, cotton and potato.

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