Hit by fuel hike, fishermen demand budgetary allocation

Photo for representation.  

Hit by increased fuel costs, coronavirus pandemic, heavy drop in marine catch and other issues, leaders of fishermen community from three coastal districts of Karnataka have demanded that the State government come to the rescue of fisheries sector by announcing a package of ₹10,000 crore in the upcoming budget.

They said that the hike in fuel costs has resulted in increased operational costs, because of which more than 90% of the mechanised boats have stopped venturing into fishing. To lessen the financial burden, they demanded that the government provide subsidised diesel at the delivery points and reduce taxes.

On Wednesday, various fishermen associations under the aegis of Dakshina Kannada Mogaveera Mahanjana Sangha held a press conference in the city.

Kishore D. Suvarna, president of the Aala Samudra Meenugarara Sangha, said, “In the last five years, fishermen community has suffered a lot due to consistent drop in marine catch. Operational cost involved in running mechanised boats has increased drastically as boats are spending more days in the sea and going to far off places for fishing, which has resulted in more consumption of fuel. To lessen the financial burden, more than 90% of boats have stopped venturing into the sea. There is no option left before us than to seek help from the government. We demand that the government waive off loans as we are not in a position to repay them to the banks.”

The Sangha demanded that subsidised kerosene be provided for traditional fishing and the launch of a separate fishing zones. They also demanded that the government provide a loan with 4% interest for fishing activites in coming days, and that the Coastal Regulation Zone rules be relaxed for construction of houses for fishermen.

Leaders said that a memorandum has already been submitted to the Chief Minister to include their demands in the ensuring budget. The Sangha said that they will go on indefinite strike by stop fishing activities in the coastal districts if the State fails to meet their demands.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 5:24:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/hit-by-fuel-hike-fishermen-demand-budgetary-allocation/article33929582.ece

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