Former chairman of Karnataka Fisheries Development Corporation and BJP leader Ramachandar Baikampady admitted here on Friday that his party-led government could not use Rs. 100 crore sanctioned by the UPA government.

It was sanctioned for issuing modern satellite-based fish finding equipment kits to fishermen for deep sea fishing.

He told presspersons here that when he was the chairman of the corporation under the government led by B.S. Yeddyurappa, the corporation had submitted a proposal to the Union government to sanction Rs. 100 crore for distributing modern kits to fishermen. The fund was sanctioned. But the Department of Fisheries in Karnataka did not show interest to make the proposal a reality by consulting the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Hence, the fund sanctioned got cancelled.

He said that when Gujarat Chief Minister M. Narendra Modi arrived in Malpe for Lok Sabha election campaign in 2009 he had suggested fishermen to go for satellite-based deep sea fishing. Taking this into account the corporation led by him had sent the proposal.

Asked if it was the failure of the BJP government in State he said “yes”, adding that it was the failure of the State fisheries development.

Asked if the BJP government did not have hold on the Department of Fisheries, Mr. Ramachandar said that lot has to be done to improve the department.

Mr. Ramachandar had deserted the BJP along with Mr. Yeddyurappa to join the Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP). He returned to the BJP recently after Mr. Yeddyurappa made a come back.

He said that fishermen in the district opposed any move to declare Mangalore region as Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region (PCPIR) for setting up industries.

He said that the BJP-led State government in the State had arranged for bank loans to women from fishing community at an interest rate of three per cent per annum. In all, 13, 600 women had been issued loans with a maximum ceiling being Rs. 50,000.

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