THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The upcoming budgets of the state and Central Governments should give due consideration to the fisheries sector in the wake of the devastation caused by cyclone Ockhi, the National Fishworkers’ Forum has demanded.
The focus should be on the safety of fishermen in the sea. Adequate funds should be earmarked to support traditional and small scale-fishermen. Subsidy should be provided to kerosene, diesel and petrol used for fishing purposes, Forum general secretary T Peter said in a release.
Taking a dig at the Fishermen Debt Relief Commission which was constituted to provide relief to fishermen having debts till 2008, Peter said the budgetary allocations over the years were spent only on providing salary to its members. On the other hand, fishermen were in acute debt, he said.
The Fishermen Debt Relief Commission should be wound up this year and a solution should be found to address the debts incurred by fishermen. The upcoming budget should earmark funds for this, Peter said.
The all-India conference of the National Fish Workers Forum is slated to be held on February 3 and 4 at Konark in Odisha. Representatives fromvarious states will participate in the conference.