Mangaluru

Karnataka Government covers more fishing boats with subsidised kerosene in three coastal districts

Boats at the Maravanthe Outer Fishing Harbour in Udupi district. Thousands of fishermen are engaged in traditional fishing using outboard motors on traditional boats. 

Boats at the Maravanthe Outer Fishing Harbour in Udupi district. Thousands of fishermen are engaged in traditional fishing using outboard motors on traditional boats.  | Photo Credit: ANIL KUMAR SASTRY

In a major relief to fishermen using motorised traditional boats, the Karnataka Government has agreed to enhance the number of boats eligible for subsidised kerosene from the existing 4,514 in three coastal districts to 8,030 from this financial year.

Consequently, all the 8.030 boats would get 300 litres of kerosene a month from August to May at a subsidised price of ₹16.5 a litre as per an August 6, 2022, order of the Food and Civil Supplies Department.

Thousands of fishers are engaged in traditional fishing using outboard motors on traditional boats. Unlike large mechanised boats, including trawlers and purse-sein boats that stay at sea for up to a week, traditional fishermen leave early in the morning and return by evening with the the catch of the day.

In October 2013, the government had enhanced the monthly kerosene quota for 4,514 traditional boats (Uttara Kannada - 990, Udupi - 914 and Dakshina Kannada - 2,610) from 200 litres a month to 300 litres for nine fishing months — September to May. This was in line with the budget promise of enhancing the quota from 200 litres to 400 litres.

Over the years, with a growth in population, the number of fisherpersons depending on traditional fishing rose exponentially and so did the number of fishing boats. Fisheries Department recently proposed to the government to extend the subsidised kerosene scheme to nearly 8,030 boats for which the department has given licences to operate.

Of these, Dakshina Kannada has 1,345 boats, Udupi has 4,894 and Uttara Kannada has 1,789 boats engaged in traditional fishing. The department said, despite an increase in the number of licenced traditional boats, the monthly quota for the department through Food and Civil Supplies Department had remained 1,355 kilo litres.

The department requires at least 24,090 KL of kerosene per year for 8,030 boats, and urged the government to enhance the quota.

The state government buys the required kerosene from central government at market rates and then distributes the same to traditional fishermen at the subsidised rate of Rs. 16.5 a litre.


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Printable version | Aug 10, 2022 2:33:17 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/karnataka-government-covers-more-fishing-boats-with-subsidised-kerosene-in-three-coastal-districts/article65753118.ece