Farmers across Gujarat have launched State-wide protests demanding immediate disbursal of crop insurance claims for damage to their standing crops due to unseasonal rains in October and November. The protests have been launched against crop insurance companies, which are apparently not passing claims filed by farmers in more than 20 districts, which were lashed by the unseasonal rains that left damaged crops like groundnut, cotton, pulses and paddy. After the protests, Nitin Patel, Deputy Chief Minister, warned of action against insurance companies if they did not process claims and compensate farmers who paid premiums to insure their crops. “We have received several representations and even complaints against insurance companies. The government will be forced to take actions against insurance companies if they don’t act and compensate the farmers,” Mr. Patel told media persons in Gandhinagar. Some insurance companies are indulging in malpractices by curtailing claim amounts to just 20-30 % of what farmers have claimed, he added. Before Mr. Patel, senior BJP leader and former agriculture minister Dilip Sanghani also slammed insurance companies for not settling farmers claims. “I have come across several instances where crops have completely been destroyed but insurance companies have approved only 20 % of the total claim amount. This is not acceptable and government should hold them accountable,” Mr. Sanghani said. This year, Gujarat witnessed a prolonged monsoon with total rainfall touching 146 %, leading to extensive damage to crops in Saurashtra, North Gujarat and Central Gujarat districts. “Gujarat farmers have suffered extensive damage but are not getting compensation from insurance companies,” said Gujarat Congress farmers’ wing Pala Ambalia. Gujarat Congress has supported protests that are being organised at taluka level in affected districts. Meanwhile, the State government has announced a financial package of ₹3,795 crore for the farmers whose crops were damaged between the October 15 and November 20 during which several parts of the State received unseasonal rains. “The package will cover almost all the 56.36 lakh farmers whose crops suffered damage due to rains after the (south-west) monsoon (retreated),” Mr. Patel told media persons.Farmers in areas where rains were recorded in excess of 100 mm will get compensation at ₹6,800 per hectare up to two hectares, as per the package.