Tharoor seeks special economic package for Kerala fishermen from CM


PTI, Apr 3, 2020, 8:25 AM IST

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Thursday, April 2 urged Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to provide an economic package for fishermen in the wake of the coronavirus crisis and implement a special process through which they can continue to go out into the sea to catch fish.

In a letter to Vijayan, Tharoor said that the fishing communities represent one of the most economically challenged and marginalized sections of the society.

Highlighting the plight of the fishermen since over two years ago when Cyclone Ockhi struck, the Thiruvananthapuram MP said the present lockdown situation, coupled with a lull in economic activities is naturally having a significantly distressing impact on this community in his state.

“While the lockdown is in place it is therefore imperative that we continue to support these communities so that they too can live comfortably till the present restrictions are lifted,” he said.

“I would like to urge the state government to implement a special process through which our fishermen can continue to go out into the sea to catch fish which can then subsequently be procured at 16 landing sites (or as per the requirement) in the district of Thiruvananthapuram at a fair value price by the state-owned Kerala State Cooperative Federation for Fisheries Development Ltd (Matsyafed),” he said.

The cooperative will then ensure that the procured catch can then be purchased by the public at their local outlets, Tharoor said.

“If a similar process is implemented state-wide, it would have the dual benefits of allowing our fishermen to make full use of the present weather conditions that are conducive for fishing, while also ensuring that fresh stocks of seafood are available to the people of the state,” he said.

Tharoor also urged the state government to consider the fishing communities as a special economic grouping and offer a financial package for this community for the duration of the lockdown.

“This would allow them to make critical purchases that, in turn, will allow them to address their household needs while the lockdown is in effect,” he said.

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