Ahmedabad, Oct 14 (PTI) The Gujarat government on Wednesday told the High Court that farmers could manipulate crop output to show high losses for making insurance claims under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana if the details of Crop Cutting Experiment(CCE) are made public.
The statement came in reply to a Public Interest Litigation filed by Khedut Ekta Manch against the government's decision to withhold information related to CCE, saying the government was under statutory obligation to declare it.
The possibility of manipulation was the reason the government decided to the delay declaration of the results of CCEs by three years or after settlement of claims, it said in an affidavit before a division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice J B Pardiwala.
The PIL, on the other hand, alleged that CCE data was being manipulated to reduce the insurance amount farmers are entitled to get.
The government contended in the reply that declaring the result of CCE in advance will enable farmers calculate the `Threshold Yield' early, and that would violate clause 23.2 of the PMFBY which prohibits the declaration of Threshold Yield before the payment of claims.
'...there is a possibility that in the next year the farmers may manipulate farming practices to alter production in order to show high losses,' said Vishal Bhatt, deputy director of agriculture, in the reply.
CCEs are conducted to estimate crop production and calculate the claim of insurance.
The actual yield of a crop in a given area is determined on the basis of CCE, and the difference between threshold yield and actual yield is taken into consideration for payment of crop insurance, the reply said.
The petition challenged the government's communication of December 19, 2019, that the CCE will be disclosed after three years or after the settlement of claims.
The affidavit said this decision was based on the Union government's instructions that details of CCE may not be made public to avoid manipulation.
The PIL was listed before the bench on Wednesday, but it did not come up for hearing. PTI KA PD KRK KRK