Government of India will introduce a new national crop insurance scheme as agriculture sector is passing through a crisis due to poor rains.
Responding to a series of supplementary in the Lok Sabha, minister of State for finance Jayant Sinha also stressed the need to invest more as part of a long term plan to improve the health of the sector. He emphasized on improvisation of other governmental schemes such as fertilizer subsidy system, investment in irrigation facilities and use technology like soil health cards to improve the agriculture sector. Sinha said discussion was on to introduce national crop insurance and "there will be action soon" on the issue.
As agriculture sector is passing through a crisis, he said that, government would not remain satisfied with short-term measures alone and would put in more efforts on long-term measures which required more investment to improve infrastructure.
Moreover, he added that, now the benchmark for subsidy to farmers against crop failure due to drought or floods has been fixed at 33 per cent, to help more number of farmers.
In a written reply to a question on relief measures for farmers like interest-free loans to those affected by drought, finance minister Arun Jaitley said with a view to ensure availability of agriculture credit at affordable cost, the government was implementing interest subvention scheme to make available short-term crop loans up to Rs 3 lakh for a period of one year at an interest rate of 7 per cent per annum.