Ahmedabad: The Centre has given Gujarat government a green signal to continue the old National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) for another year.
"Ahead of the general elections, the UPA government made changes into the existing NAIS, which provides protection to farmers against crop failure. However, the new scheme (Modified NAIS) was anti-farmer," state spokesperson and minister Nitin Patel said in a release today.
He said Chief Minister Anandi Patel raised the issue during her recent visit to Delhi.
"Now, the central government gave us permission not to implement the Modified NAIS and continue the old NAIS," Patel said.
The new scheme floated by UPA actually increased burden on farmers, as the premium rates were hiked exponentially while the insurance amount to be given was cut down, he said.
Patel also claimed that the UPA government also "privatised" the scheme by handing over the operations to private firms, while earlier, it was with a government company.
"At that time, Gujarat government made several representations to the UPA government to scrap the MNAIS and continue the old one, but, our demands were not accepted. After Narendra Modi became PM, our chief minister met him and made a similar demand," Patel said.
The PM accepted our demand and asked the union agriculture minister to look into the matter, he said adding, "Yesterday, Gujarat government was informed through an official letter from the Centre that the state can continue the old NAIS for another one year for the benefit of farmers. With this nod, farmers in the state now have to pay just 1.5 to 3.5 per cent premium on crop insurance."
Chief minister Anandi Patel also expressed happiness for the `pro-farmer` decision.