Finance minister Haseeb Drabu on Wednesday said that the state has worked out a comprehensive insurance scheme for nine crops and asked the government depatments to submit inventioners of machinery and equipments so they are insured.
"Despite the spate of natural calamities in the past and recurring violent civil strife that we are faced with, the state has neither insured its own assets nor has it been able to give insurance cover to private businesses, be it in agriculture, horticulture, other crops or to SMEs," said Drabu in the legislature.
"I am happy to inform that we have succeeded in 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 etc. Additionally, in order to provide the much needed fillip to the poultry sector, I intend to subsidise the premium costs on account of insurance of livestock by the poultry farmers.
"I have made a provision of Rs. 75 crore in the budget for the purpose of premium subsidy. This 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. A matching share of Rs. 75 crore will be received from Central Government and farmers will be required to pay nominal part of the premium.
"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.
"All 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.
"All departments will submit a list of important buildings, which need to be insured, to the Finance Department by 30th April, 2017 to facilitate insurance of such assets.
"The PWD department has been advised to inspect and valuate them so that LOIs/ EOIs are invited. Since rules in vogue at present do not allow insurance of public assets and Government vehicles, it is intended to take up insurance of these assets in a phased manner and as per availability of resources.
"As regards businesses, especially the SMEs, I have asked the J&K Bank to ensure a business insurance cover at an affordable premium. The bank will do it for all those SMEswho have taken business loans from the bank. I hope all other commercial banks follow suit.
"With this, we would have provided insurance cover to public assets and private businesses, be it in agriculture, industry or services.
"To protect our invaluable heritage, all the artefacts, rare manuscripts, paintings and other priceless items in the Toshkhana and the J&K Academy of Arts, Culture and Languages will also be insured after proper documentation and valuation. An amount of Rs. 5 crore is earmarked for this purpose."