Low returns and rise in cost of operations hit boat operators

Several fishing associations, which are upset over high cost of operations, have sought the intervention of the government to raise procurement price of pink brown shrimp and sales tax subsidy being given on diesel purchased by motorised and mechanised boats.

With low returns and rise in cost of operations, representatives from various associations recently went to Hyderabad and represented to Fisheries Minister P. Viswaroop, Fisheries Principal Secretary Manmohan Singh, Commissioner K. Praveen Kumar and Senior Executive Director of National Fisheries Development Board M. Surya Prakash.

Association of Indian Fisheries Industry president Y.G.K. Murti, Dolphin Boat Operators’ Welfare Association president Ch. Satyanarayana Murthy, Kakinada Sona and Sora Motor Boats’ Association president B. Ranga Rao, Kakinada Mechanised Boats’ Association president K. Mata Raju and others formed part of the delegations.

Mr. Satyanarayana Murthy said the Minister and others promised to look into their demands. They explained to him that the price of pink brown shrimp should be raised for which they wanted government intervention. The price per kg being offered to them by the exporters is Rs.300 a kg.

On diesel subsidy, they said 50 per cent of 1500 boats were being extended the benefit.

Those registered after Ninth Plan – March 31, 2002 were not getting subsidy, he said and sought an increase in the amount.

He said the subsidy component which was Rs.6.03 when diesel per litre price was Rs.34 had remained the same though it had now gone up to Rs.54 per litre.

Annual ban

While seeking extension of annual ban period from 47 days to 60 days to facilitate better harvesting, the representatives wanted government initiative for distribution of navigation equipment, GPS, fish finder, VHF sets, life floats and life jackets to all the boat owners.

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