Goa Fisheries Minister Vinod Palyekar has been criticised by Goa Fishing Boat Owners Association (GFBOA) for his ‘subsidy remark’. GFBOA Secretary Simon Pereira asked the Minister to check the ground reality before making any comments about the subsidies being paid to the Fishermen.
The Minister had told reporters that fish was not available at reasonable rates for the local consumption even after giving subsidies worth Rs. 108 crore to fishermen.
“The statement made by Palyekar has upset all the fishing community in Vasco. Since Palyekar has already made a statement, we want to remind him a fact that he being the State fisheries minister has not conducted an all-Goa level meeting with the mechanised trawler owners to understand the issues and difficulties faced by us. He should have heard our views before making the irrelevant statement. We have been facing immense difficulties in the business and he would have known the ground reality if such meeting had been called by him,” Pereria was quoted by Oheraldo.
“Before blaming us for the rise in fish price he (Palyekar) should check the infrastructure available for fishermen. We are operating without proper jetties and there are no cold storage facilities to preserve our catch. We fishermen get bumper catch in the month of August to November, but there is no proper storage facility where such catch can be preserved for other months when the catch is low. Further, he should check whether the government has provided any subsidy to the fishermen in the last 18 months,” Pereira said.
Pereira also clarified that state fishermen have been getting VAT reimbursements from the government and not subsidy.
“This VAT reimbursement is given to us because the fishing industry is the only industry where 90 percent people are Goans. Also since Palyekar represents Goa Forward which is meant to take care of ‘Goem, Goenkar and Goenkarponn’, he should take care of our interests,” he said.
Information credit: Oheraldo