Kerosene price hike spells fresh trouble for Kerala’s traditional fishermen

Traditional fishermen, already hit by a shortage of catch and restricted fishing days on account of bad weather conditions, are facing another obstacle with kerosene price in the market going up to ₹102 a litre.

“Our conclusion is that the latest price hike will virtually destroy the traditional sector,” said Charles George of Matsya Thozhilali Aikya Vedhi, which represents traditional fishermen. The fishermen’s union called the price hike unjustified and said it would break the back of the traditional fishing sector.

With the latest hike, the price of kerosene has gone up by ₹14 a litre. The price was ₹84 in the month of May. It was hiked by ₹4 in June and the latest hike is effective from July 1. Along with the basic price of kerosene, transport charges, dealers’ commission and taxes were applicable when kerosene was sold through the public distribution system, said a communication from the Civil Supplies department.

The communication said that though the price of kerosene was hiked by ₹4 in June, the PDS price in the State was not hiked. At present, subsidised kerosene was sold through the PDS system in the State at ₹84, the communication added. Instructions have been issued by Minister G.R. Anil to continue with the same price until stocks last.

Mr. George said there was constant pressure on the State government from the Union government to end the diversion of a part of the allotted quota of kerosene to the State to the fisheries sector. He said while the volume of kerosene supplies used to be around 28,000 kilo litres a few months ago, the volume had been cut down to 2,000 kilo litres. The supplies to the fisheries sector had been cut from 450 litres per month to 129 litres, he added.

The price hike had come at a time when the traditional fishermen were expecting to reap the benefits of the ban on trawling during the rainy season, said Mr. George. Though the State government had, during the last elections, promised to supply kerosene at ₹25 a litre to the fishing sector, the promise was not fulfilled promise even as Tamil Nadu was still supplying kerosene to the sector at ₹20 a litre, he said.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 5:24:15 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/kerosene-price-hike-spells-fresh-trouble-for-keralas-traditional-fishermen/article65595319.ece