Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac has called for discussions on how Kerala and the people living along the coast could be saved from the consequences of the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement.

Inaugurating a seminar organized by the Kerala Gazetted Officers’ Association on the ASEAN deal and its impact on the fishing sector here on Monday, Dr. Isaac said the Centre, which was cutting down even essential rations for the common man in the name of reducing expenses, was also opposing the State’s attempt to protect the fisheries sector through efforts like introduction of the Aquarium Reforms Bill.

The ASEAN deal and globalization were obstacles for the development of the fishing sector, he said, adding that ways to rescue the coast from the ill-effects of these moves had to be discussed and solutions evolved at the earliest.

KGOA organizing committee convener K.M. Kunjumon, Municipal Chairman P.P. Chitharanjan, Fisheries former deputy director T.D. Velayudhan, Kerala Swathanthra Matsya Thozhilali Federation general secretary T. Peter, State Matsya Thozhilali Federation vice president T.J. Anjalose and others also spoke.

Keywords: ASEAN