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Fishermen condemn State, Centre for increasing diesel price
Fishermen attached to National Fishworkers' Forum (NFF) condemned the State and central governments for the increase in diesel prices.
"Fishermen have already lost their livelihood during the COVID-19 restrictions and now the exponential increase in diesel prices has come as a shock for those who are facing great difficulty in resuming fishing activities after the complete lockdown," said Dr RV Kumaravelu, vice-president of NFF.
Fishing activities have been greatly affected due to consecutive lockdowns coupled with annual fishing ban period. As export activities are yet to resume, most fishermen in delta districts lost their livelihood in the past three months.
Kumaravelu said that the central government implementing the National Marine Policy, 2020, came with severe consequences. It restricts fishing within 12 nautical miles.
Adding to the woes of fishermen, State and central governments are imposing a joint tax of more than Rs 34 per litre for diesel, which further complicates the situation, said Kumaravelu.
T Peter, general secretary, NFF, said that both the State and central governments are continuously taking steps against the welfare of traditional fishermen. "By implementing schemes like Sagarmala and National Marine Policy, central and State governments are trying to take away the rights of traditional fishermen and are converting them into labourers. The diesel price increase will further facilitate the process," Peter added.
Condemning the State and central governments for their anti-fishermen policies, NFF has decided to protest by hoisting black flags in fishing harbours across the country.