Forum seeks separate ministry for fisherfolk

March 03, 2016 12:00 am | Updated 05:40 am IST - PUDUCHERRY:

The National Fish Workers Forum (NFF) has urged the Union Government to create a separate ministry for welfare of fishermen. Fishermen from all coastal states will stage a protest march to the Parliament on March 10 in support of the demand, said M. Ilango, chairperson of National Fish Workers Forum.

Talking to reporters here on Wednesday, Mr. Ilango said the welfare of fishermen had been neglected by successive Governments at the Centre for the last 68 years.

As a first step to alleviate the suffering of fishermen, the Union government should form a separate ministry under the name of ‘Ministry of Fisheries and Fishermen Welfare.’

Terming the Union budget as disappointing, he said the Government had ignored the legitimate demands to provide livelihood support and modernise the fisheries sector. The promises made in the national fisheries policy of the BJP in 2010 also remain on paper.

The NFF has also urged the government to provide traditional fishermen with subsidised fuel for their motorized boats and out board motors.

The loans availed by fishermen should also be waived and an exclusive bank should be created for development of fisheries and fishermen welfare.

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