Hyderabad: Rythu Bima, the unique group life insurance scheme for farmers in the State, has proved to be a boon for farmers’ families. It has come as a major source of financial relief to families bereaved by farmers’ untimely deaths.
Insurance claims worth Rs 2,012.15 crore have been settled so far covering around 40,243 farmers’ families since the launch of the scheme in August 2018, with each family receiving Rs 5 lakh.
Launched on August 14, 2018, about 31.25 lakh farmers were enrolled under the Rythu Bima scheme in 2018-19 against premium amount of Rs 710.58 crore paid by the State government. In 2019-20, around 30.81 lakh farmers were enrolled under the scheme at an expenditure of Rs 1,065.37 crore. Another Rs 1,141.44 crore was paid towards premium amount providing insurance coverage for 32.73 lakh farmers in 2020-21. A total of Rs 2,917.39 crore was paid towards insurance premium in the last three fiscals, and the insurance is renewed on August 14 every year.
About 51 per cent of the families that benefitted from this scheme are from Backward Classes followed by 19 per cent SCs and 14 per cent STs. Significantly, small and marginal farmers who hold less than 2.47 acres account for over 70 per cent of the total 32.73 lakh farmers enrolled. The families of farmers in the age group of 49-50 years benefitted the most, accounting for about 52.3 per cent of total beneficiaries under the scheme.
The government paid a premium of Rs 2,271.50 per farmer enrolled in 2018- 19, that went up to Rs 3,486.90 per farmer enrolled in 2020-21.
Meanwhile, Nalgonda district topped the number of farmers enrolled in the State with 4.4 lakh farmers, having more than 2,600 claims settled in the last three financial years.
Farmers in the 18 to 59 year age group are eligible to enrol under the scheme, and a sum of Rs 5 lakh is paid to the nominee on the death of an enrolled farmer irrespective of the cause of death. However, majority of these deaths are said to have been caused due to various illnesses.
The agriculture officials submit details pertaining to settlement of claims to the LIC through the Rythu Bima website within 10 days of the enrolled farmer’s death is reported to them. The LIC authorities scrutinise these claims and the amount is transferred electronically into the nominee’s account, without the nominee even required to submit any representation or visit any office for settlement of the insured amount.