THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The UDF has decided to take up the protest launched by the RSP against the proposed Kerala Fish Auctioning Marketing and Quality Control Bill which aims to rein in middle men and provide fair prices to fishermen and boat owners.
As per the proposed ordinance, besides the fees already being paid to the state government by the fishing community, an extra five per cent from their earnings would now go to the auction team, fishermen co-operative society, local bodies, fish landing centres and management societies.
Former chief minister Oommen Chandy said the ‘black law’ will only push the fishermen to further penury when they are currently reeling under the after-effects of the pandemic. The UDF leadership feels that the ordinance will only bring conflict in the coastal areas. The senior Congress leader highlighted that the management societies are already taking user fees.
“Hence, the decision to charge a further five per cent fund from the fishermens’ income cannot be tolerated. This is happening when they are already paying their taxes. As many as 10 fishing harbours and few landing centres are under the direct control of the government,” said Chandy.
Earlier, UDF convener M M Hassan had said that the UDF will oppose the ordinance to regulate the fish auction and its sale. The UDF leadership has urged the government to withdraw the Bill since it feels that Matsyafed will also be pushed to oblivion.
What happens if the law is enacted
Once the Bill is passed, the fishermen will have to give an affidavit to the consumer stating that he had caught the fish as per law. He should also produce details including the place from where the fish was caught and the method by which it was caught, which the UDF feels is impractical and also is like making fun of the fishing community.