NEW DELHI: The All India Fishermen Congress will hold country-wise protests from November 21 to 26 against the "ill-thought out" implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
The announcement was made at a meeting of the party's fishermen wing chaired by T N Prathapan, chairman of All India Fishermen Congress, today. Congress treasurer Motilal Vora was also present at the meeting.
"As part of the move, 'Protest week' will be launched from November 21 to 26. Fishermen will sit in protest in front of central government offices in various states," a party statement said.
The Fishermen Congress alleged that the Centre was imposing higher tax slab for fishing equipment and various fish products, including dried fish products under GST, which has caused "irreparable damage" to the fisheries sector.
"This will destroy the country's fishing sector. A countrywide protest will be held against this ill-thought out implementation of the indirect tax regime," the statement said.
The Fishermen Congress has also demanded a separate fisheries ministry under an independent minister under the central government, to ensure the overall socio-economic development of fishermen communities in the country.
"This is a long pending demand of fishermen and allied workers in the country who comprise around ten per cent of the total population," it said.
At present, fisheries is a separate department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare.
The All India Fishermen Congress added that the BJP government was giving a deaf ear to the demands of fishermen and allied workers involved in fishing and related works in sea, backwaters, rivers, ponds, dams and reservoirs in various states in the country.