#Budget 2017-18: Covering calamities and uncertainties would cost Rs 150 Cr

KL News Network

Jammu

After struggling to have some cover to the farming and business communities against the unpredictability of climate and situation, J&K is moving to have an elaborate system of insurance cover, the budget suggests. The state lacks insurance to almost everything – to the assets it owns and to the crops it grows.

Dr Drabu said he is working out a comprehensive insurance scheme for nine crops including paddy, wheat, maize, apple, mango, saffron, pulses, and oil seeds against damages from most of the natural disasters including hail, floods, draught and other climatic problems.

A similar system is being evolved for poultry sector in which the government would subsidise the premium costs on account of insurance of livestock by the poultry farmers. Poultry sector has been quite a thriving sector till floods decimated it in 2014 pushing some of the farmers to bankruptcy.

The budget has kept a provision of Rs 75 crore for the purpose of premium subsidy, which Drabu said is the biggest intervention till date to ensure that the farmers get right compensation if their crops are damaged due to reasons beyond their control.  Government of India will contribute an equal matching share for this scheme, Drabu said.

Similarly, assets of public importance are increasingly becoming vulnerable to arson, civil strife, terror attacks, fire, floods, and natural calamities. As the creation of these assets takes considerable effort and huge resources, it has become imperative to have them covered under insurance. By doing so their chances of loss get mitigated and the huge costs to be borne by the State in absence of insurance cover for such assets get considerably reduced.

Besides, the budget has suggested that all government departments will submit an inventory of land, buildings, machinery, equipments and other assets latest by 30th June, 2017 for which National Informatics Centre (NIC) has been asked to develop MIS. All lands and buildings shall also have to be mapped through GIS. The departments have been asked to submit the list of important buildings, which need to be insured.

For businesses and SMEs, Drabu said he has asked the J&K Bank to ensure a business insurance cover at an affordable premium. The bank can start with SMEs which are already working with the bank.

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