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National Insurance collects Rs 800-900cr premium under PMFBY

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)Kolkata, (IANS) : State-run general insurer National Insurance Company Ltd has collected Rs 800-900 crore as premium under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), a top official said on Friday.

“We are not part of the kharif season, but we are part of the rabi season. In rabi season, premium is lower. We have received about Rs 800-900 crore in this rabi season.

“But now that the season is over, the collection will not go up much until the end of the fiscal,” said company’s Chairman & Managing Director K. Sanath Kumar.

“So far, the government has infused around Rs 15,000 crore in the form of premium under the PMFBY. The government infusion is expected to touch Rs 20,000 crore by the end of the fiscal,” he said at a conference organised by the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry here.

With a view to de-risk agriculture of vagaries of nature, the PMFBY, which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February last year, replaced the National Agriculture Insurance Scheme (NAIS) and the Modified National Agriculture Insurance Scheme (MNAIS).

According to the scheme, there would be a uniform premium of only two per cent to be paid by the farmers for all Kharif crops and 1.5 per cent for all rabi crops. In case of annual commercial and horticultural crops, the premium to be paid by the farmers would be only 5 per cent.

The premium rates to be paid by the farmers are low and the balance premium will be paid by the government to provide full insurance amount to the farmers against crop loss on account of natural calamities.

There is no upper limit on the government subsidy. Even if balance premium is 90 per cent, it will be borne by the government.

Speaking about the overall non-life insurance industry, Sanath Kumar said the general insurance companies on an average are seeing 30 per cent year-on-year growth, but they are not able to make underwriting profitable.

He also said the underwriting losses of all the companies were to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore in 2014-15 and it increased to around Rs 15,000 crore in 2015-16.

“As on September 30, in the current fiscal (2016-17), all the companies, except one company which reported underwriting surplus, incurred underwriting losses,” he said.

According to Sanath Kumar, the city-headquartered insurer has been looking at improving solvency ratio before listing in the stock exchanges in the next fiscal.

Solvency margin is how much an insurance company has in the form of prescribed assets over liabilities. It helps investors determine the financial strength of the company.

The Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India has set the ratio at 1.5 and all insurance companies are required to maintain the solvency ratio. The general insurer reported a solvency ratio of 1.2 in the first six months of the current fiscal (2016-17).

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