Tamil Nadu

Fishermen press for cooperative bank

With the State Budget round the corner, fishermen have urged the government to ensure that their long-pending demands are met, especially that of a cooperative fisheries bank on the lines of the cooperative agricultural bank.

“The pandemic has broken our back. We have no money. Many boat owners have let their boats on voyages for want of cash for repair. We are spending more on voyages than what we earn. And there is nobody to lend to us. The banks won't, they need collateral. Our homes do not have any pattas, thus rendering us technically propertyless,” said Varadhan, a community leader.

No credit line

Owners of boats and those in the allied industries have been demanding a cooperative bank. “Without an influx of capital, you cannot expect the industry to get back on its feet. Boat owners, both small and large, need support now like never before. We do not want freebies, we want the banks to help. There was a move to provide loans through Kisan Credit Cards but that failed to take off,” said M.D. Dayalan, who runs a fish net shop.

He said that personally he was unable to avail a loan under the Mudra scheme at a nationalised bank. “I have never defaulted on repayment of loan amounts. But the bank refuses to give me a fresh loan citing some reason or the other,” he said.

K. Bharathi of the South Indian Fishermen Welfare Association, said there was a need for improving facilities in fishing harbours. “There is no emergency medical aid in any of the harbours. Lighting, internal roads, drinking water and toilets have to be improved. At the Kasimedu fishing harbour, the boat owners are unable to export fish as the European Union has not approved of the conditions here. There has been a long-pending demand from fishermen to take over the the harbour from the Chennai Port Trust,” he said.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 6:29:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/fishermen-press-for-cooperative-bank/article35710745.ece

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