Puducherry

Government to disburse ban relief to fishermen by July 1

Fisheries and Tourism Secretary Purva Garg addressing a press conference at the Thengaithittu Fishing Harbour. T. Singaravelou

Fisheries and Tourism Secretary Purva Garg addressing a press conference at the Thengaithittu Fishing Harbour. T. Singaravelou   | Photo Credit: T. Singaravelou

Dropping the proposal for a means tested approach to distribution of welfare aid, the Government will disburse a ban relief amount of ₹5,500 per fisher family to all beneficiaries by July 1.

This follows an amendment in the rules under the Welfare and Relief for Fishermen During Lean Season and Natural Calamities’ scheme that removed a provision to filter out families receiving old age pension from the list of beneficiaries.

“The fisheries department is committed to disbursing the assistance to all beneficiaries as quickly as possible,” Purva Garg, Fisheries Secretary, told a press conference.

The amendment helps fishermen whose livelihood and income were affected during the ban period and the relief would be paid through the direct benefit transfer scheme to their bank accounts.

The aid would reach an estimated 19,000 beneficiaries. The government has set apart ₹12 crore to pay the relief to fishermen.

“The total allocation under this head for 2020-21 is ₹12 crore. As of now, we will process around ₹7 crore. Further, a sum of ₹1.7 crore is being disbursed under the centrally-sponsored savings-cum-relief scheme,” Ms. Garg told The Hindu.

A. Kangeyan, former president of Puducherry Fibre Boat Owners Association, welcomed the removal of restrictions on access to the benefit.

“The proposal to deny benefit on the ground that the head of the family or family member is a recipient of old age pension was unjust to start with when you consider that it is meant to help fisher families see through the entire ban period,” he said.

On Friday, over a thousand fishermen protested against Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi for imposing conditions in disbursement of relief. They staged a protest aboard their fishing vessels in the Bay of Bengal against the denial of relief to fishermen getting old age pension and the delay in payment of cash benefits under the savings-cum-relief scheme.

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Printable version | Jul 6, 2020 9:30:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/government-to-disburse-ban-relief-to-fishermen-by-july-1/article31947940.ece

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