The Agriculture Insurance Company of India (AICI) has finally assured to pay crop insurance for the hail-damaged Rabi crops in Madhya Pradesh within three months. It will be the first such payment for the hail damaged crop.
About 30,000 villages had been affected by the damage to the crop caused by an untimely rain and hailstorm in February-March 2014. Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had put the loss at Rs 13,000 crore then. However, the AICI first refused to pay the claims and submitted an affidavit in the high court in September in this regard. The company maintained then that the state government hadn’t notified hailstorm as a 'localised calamity' for the Rabi season of 2013.
On December 16, the court directed the company to complete the claims processing and disbursement within three months after the company itself assured to make the payment. The AICI gave the assurance to the Gwalior bench of the MP high court regarding the payment of the claims.
Earlier in March, Gwalior-based lawyer Sanjana Singh Raghuvanshi had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the high court for crop insurance claim payment for the farmers.
The court asked the state government and the AICI to file their respective replies in the matter. Later, AICI moved an amendment intervention in the court in the third week of November, mentioning that it had initiated processing of insurance claims under the National Agriculture Insurance Scheme (NAIS) for the Rabi crop losses.
This amendment was taken into consideration during the hearing of the case on December 16 and the bench of justices SK Gangele and Sheel Nagu directed the company to complete the process within three months from date of receipt of orders.
Pawan Singh Raghuvanshi, the advocate for petitioner, told HT that this was the first time that insurance claims for crop loss due to hailstorm would be paid.