KAKINADA : Fisherman in East Godavari’s Kakinada have gone on a holiday of sorts to protest against the hike in fuel prices and the lack of response from the State government towards their demand for further subsidy on diesel cost. Around 550 mechanised boats have stopped going into the sea since August 22 even as the fishermen associations have threatened to intensify the agitation by extending their ‘fishing holiday’ to other parts of the State.
It may be noted that the State government provides Rs 9 as subsidy on one litre of diesel to the fishermen.
The fisherfolks in Kakinada and Bhairavapalem in I Polavaram mandal recently submitted a petition to the fisheries department with their demand for decrease in diesel cost and hike in the subsidy amount.
District fisheries joint director PV Satyanarayana said the agitation, which entered its sixth day on Saturday, has slightly affected seafood exports, and that discussion with the higher-ups on the issue are underway. Veera Swamy, president of the Kakinada mechanised boats welfare association, said earlier the subsidy amount was `6.50 when the price of one litre of diesel was Rs 33. “Even as the fuel costs have jacked up almost three times since, the government is giving Rs 9 as subsidy.”