The Centrally sponsored National Savings-cum-Relief Scheme for marine fishermen under the National Fund for Fishermen has evoked good response in the district, with 5,279 fishermen enrolling themselves as members of the scheme during the current year.

Under this scheme, implemented by the State Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Department, the fishermen who are professionally engaged in full-time fishing in sea and the members of cooperative fishing societies, are provided relief by the government during the lean months, limited to four months in a year. The scheme’s main objective is to cultivate savings habit among the fishermen, so that the accumulated money could be used during the lean months.

As per the Central government norms, each eligible marine fisherman should contribute a sum of Rs. 70 for eight months from January to August and the final instalment of Rs. 40 for the month of September — altogether Rs. 600. Both the Centre and the State government will each contribute equal amounts (Rs. 600 each) as a matching grant. The fishermen will be provided a sum of Rs. 1,800 (their contribution along with the Central and State government’s share) during October.

The State government recently issued an order sanctioning a sum of Rs. 95 lakh to be provided as a total relief under this scheme to 5,279 marine fishermen of the district who had enrolled themselves under this scheme during this year. The District Revenue Officer, J. Ragavan inaugurated the distribution of cheques to the beneficiaries at a function held at the Collectorate here on Friday.

Till last year, the Centre and the State were providing only Rs. 300 each as their share to the contribution of Rs. 600 made by the beneficiary. Only during this current year, the Centre and the State increased its contribution to Rs. 600 each, according to the Fisheries Department sources.

The Deputy Director of Fisheries, Tiruchi region, Chandra, Assistant Director of Fisheries, A. Jambunathan and other officials of the Fisheries Department were present.