Investigation in Maharashtra Insurance Fraud Scheme


The state agriculture department is investigating all agriculture insurance fraud claims made by farmers for the Khareep and Rabbi seasons after it came to light that in Beed district alone, Rs 58 crore insurance money was claimed illegally and banks had to reverse that amount to the state exchequer.

According to a report on the incident, over 15,000 farmers from the district had fraudulently claimed insurance for a larger area of cultivation, or for premium paid for crops they hadn’t even sowed. The episode was investigated when it emerged that the cultivated land shown as insured was much higher than the area available for cultivation in the district.

Procedure for Insurance

According to the norms, a farmer has to get a crop certificate from the talathi mentioning the area under cultivation and the crop he will sow before he can get insured for that crop. The premium has to be paid in any of the banks that are authorized by the national agriculture insurance company.

In some cases, the farmer would get a crop-sowing certificate from the land revenue officer. A few days later, he would go back to the officer saying he had changed his mind and would be sowing another crop and hence would need another certificate. The farmer would take these two certificates (the earlier one wasn’t cancelled) to two different banks and pay the insurance premium for both the crops, but sow only one crop. In these cases, insurance claims were admitted for both the crops.

Agriculture Insurance Fraud

There were cases where farmers didn’t even cultivate anything and had yet paid up premium for cotton and had received insurance money. Some had registered inflated land areas so that more compensation could be claimed.

Insurance premium that the farmer has to pay is very meager and the amount depends on the crop and the area under cultivation. Currently, once an agricultural cycle is completed, crop production estimates are made by visiting random fields in one insurance circle, and then extending them to the entire circle. The indemnity levels for availing crop insurance in 2015 were kept at 60.

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