Eyeing the large votebank of the fishing community spread across the southern states, the BJP on Monday unveiled a national policy document on fishing and fisherfolk, aimed at improving the community’s economic condition, and vowed to implement the policy if voted back to power at the Centre.
Blaming the Congress for fishermen’s poor condition, BJP president Nitin Gadkari said despite four crore people directly employed in fishing sector, 90 per cent of the fishermen are under poverty.
“If the BJP Government comes to power in 2014, it will implement the recommendations of the party. Moreover, the good governance cell of the party
will interact with the Ministers of Fisheries in every BJP-ruled state for implementing the policies. The government will give zero per cent loans to fishermen like that of farmers,” Gadkari said.
The BJP chief also promised to raise a separate
Fisheries Department after the BJP came back to power at the Centre. He also said that aquaculture should be promoted as a major self-employment option.
“More than `25 lakh crore are siphoned off in tax havens. But just `5,000 crore can do wonders for the poor fishermen community,” Gadkari Said.
Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said the BJP policy document contained everything for upliftment of the section. She also asked the government to give fishermen reservation in coast guards.
“Another big issue is our fishermen crossing the international sea borders and enter into Srilankan and Pakistan waters. Thousands are languishing in jails in these countries. The efforts of the BJP for negotiating with these governments have got many released from their jails,” she said.