Centre not heeding to State’s pleas on kerosene subsidy: Saji Cherian

Despite several requests from Kerala, the Centre has refused to increase the kerosene allocation or subsidise it, Minister for Fisheries Saji Cherian has said.

In fact, the Centre made it clear that even the meagre allocation of kerosene that the State was receiving now could not continue, he said in the Assembly on Tuesday, while replying to a calling attention motion by K.P.A. Majeed on the difficulties faced by traditional fisheries sector because of the fuel price hike.

Kerosene is priced at ₹142.77, higher than petrol or diesel, and for the traditional fisheries sector that depends on kerosene as the fuel for their boat engines, the kerosene price as well the low allocation has been a major blow.

The State receives only one-fourth of its actual requirement of kerosene now. There are over 32,000 traditional fishing boats in the State utilising kerosene as fuel. The kerosene provided by the government is being used by 14,332 registered traditional boats that are over 10 years old.

Matsyafed was providing kerosene at a highly subsidised rate but the State government would require ₹350 crore an year for providing the same, a burden the State could not bear, Mr. Cherian said.

Over one lakh kilo litres of kerosene would be required annually just for the 14,332 traditional boats but the State had received about 2,160 kilo litres till now.

Mr. Cherian said the Centre had asked that the traditional boats to use petrol or diesel as fuel. However, this would require engine conversion for all the boats, an expense which would run into crores, and hence was not practical.

Mr. Cherian said that there was no solution in sight to resolve the current stalemate, though the dialogue with the Centre would not be given up.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 1:32:51 am |