Mangaluru: Rs 25cr diesel subsidy for fishermen outstanding
Team Udayavani, Feb 26, 2021, 9:10 AM IST
Mangaluru: The State government for the past four months has not released diesel subsidy for the fishing community totalling to about Rs 25 crore.
This has caused more hardship to the fishermen already reeling under rising diesel prices.
Each month, a large fishing boat gets a subsidy of upto 9000 litres of diesel. Thousands of fishing boats in Mangaluru were beneficiaries of it. This amount was transferred to the fishermen’s account each month.
The subsidy amount was released by the government till October 2020.
As per data from the Fisheries Department, diesel subsidy of Rs 75 crores is yet to be released for the coastal belt. Of this amount, the fishing boats from Mangaluru are to receive more than Rs 25 crores.
Presently, due to the COVID-19-induced economic crisis, the government had delayed the release of the subsidy amount. However, priority will be given to the release of funds, Fisheries Minister S Angara had said.
According to Mohan Bengre, leader of the fishing community, “A fishing boat uses upto 6 to 6.5 litres of diesel during one fishing trip. Diesel prices which were Rs 68 per litre last year have now increased to Rs 80. Fishing in such an economic situation is difficult.”
Apart from this, fishermen are reporting lessening of catches every day causing steep losses. Expenses such as workers’ wages, nets, rope, iron equipment and other maintenance have also increased.
Due to these problems, about 70 per cent of deep-sea fishing boats are already onshore.
Parshwanath, Deputy Director of the Fisheries Department has said, “Fishermen have not been paid diesel subsidy since November. This has been brought to the notice of the government. The government has ordered the immediate release of the subsidy funds.”
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