All India Fish Workers’ Federation (AIFWF) will organise a march to Parliament in June to press for implementation of Murari Committee recommendations.
Federation president and former MP M. Appudurai and general secretary P. Raju said on Wednesday that the march to Parliament would coincide with the monsoon session. A team of leaders from the fishermen community will submit memoranda to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and others on May 15.
The union leaders, who were here to attend the national working committee meeting of AIFWF told reporters that though the Murari Committee had submitted its report in 1996 and all the 27 recommendations were accepted by Parliament, its implementation had remained only on paper. It recommended denial of renewal of licence to chartered vessels but even now Letter of Permit (LOP) vessels were continuing in some other form.
The Murari Committee, among other things, recommended training fishermen to upgrade their skills, supply fuel at subsidised rate and providing social security all those involved in fishing.
Mr. Appudurai said they were agitating for extending international area beyond 48 km from the shore, stringent punishment for Italian marines involved in killing two fishermen in Kerala and action to check pollution and displacement of fishermen all along the coast.
He said their demand for creation of separate ministry of fisheries had not yet been considered as a result of which five ministries were regulating the activities involved in the fishing industry.
Mr. Appudurai said 500-odd India fishermen were kept under illegal detention in Sri Lanka and the Government of India should exert pressure on Colombo for security their release at the earliest.