The historic announcement of the MSP by Modi government was a complete failure by them to give 1.5 times the cost of production. They failed to implement the Swaminathan Commission but kept screaming at the top of their voices that their promise to the farmers has been kept. Fasal Bima Yojana which was the PM’s pet project, just like Ujjwala Yojana, has failed to meet its objectives. The scheme was launched in 2016 replacing the existing UPA scheme – Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme – to prevent the farmers from facing the brunt of failed crops.
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An important thing to understand whether a scheme has succeeded or failed is to draw a comparison of its achievements and targets (aims). Fasal Bima Yojana aimed at insuring 100 million hectares by 2018-19. One would naturally expect that a major chunk of the same would have been completed given the branding of the scheme but numbers show a different story. Crop area insured in 2015-16 was 23.86% of gross sown area which now stands at 25.23%. Only a marginal increase while the number has decreased from 2016-17. The target of achieving 50% remains a distant dream given the pace of the program.
The number of farmers insured through the scheme stood at 48.55 million in 2015-16 which has now become 48.76 million; only a marginal increase as compared to the target number. Moreover, the number of farmers insured has dropped by 15% since 2016-17. The marginal increase has happened despite the fact that the government is spending an exorbitant amount as compared to earlier. The budget allocation for crop insurance scheme in 2015-16 stood at Rs. 2,893 crores which rose to Rs. 13,240 crores in 2016-17 and now stands at Rs. 13,014 crores in 2018-19. A massive jump in spending but a meagre increase in its achievements.
After failing to deliver on MSP and insurance, the Modi government is about to add another scheme on its list of failures. KUSUM which is an acronym for Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthan Mahabhiyan aims at rolling out solar powered irrigation pumps for farmers. The initial funding of the scheme is expected to be Rs. 280 billion. The scheme has faced a setback with the Finance Ministry asking the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to rework on the financials of the scheme. This is the same government which does not shy away from spending Rs. 4,800 crore on just advertisements to promote flawed, failed and copied schemes.
There are a lot of people who have benefitted from his schemes like the insurance companies from the Fasal Bima Yojana but none of them seem to be the actual beneficiaries especially the farmers. The farmers have agitated, walked thousands of kilometres and called strikes to ensure the government listens to their demands. Little did anyone know that their voice is falling on deaf ears or else silence is the chosen response to this voice? In either case, not only has the government not delivered its promises but has also turned a blind eye to these problems. The focus is only on propaganda and PR.