Rameswaram: Fishermen in Rameswaram on Friday protested against the diesel price hike and demanded an increase in the monthly subsidy of diesel.
Speaking to ANI, Rameswaram Fishermen's Association Secretary Sagayam said that they have begun a strike against the increase in diesel price and demanded that the Tamil Nadu government increase the monthly subsidy on 1,800 litres of diesel to 3,000 litres.
"We have more than 700 mechanised boats in Rameswaram. There was a situation when we could not operate the boats as the diesel price had gone up to Rs 98 per litre," he stated.
"Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) promised an increase in diesel subsidy in their election manifesto. But no such announcement has been made in the budget. We are very disappointed," he added.
The fishermen said that they are suffering due to the high cost of diesel, declining fishing and losses incurred due to the inability to operate boats.
They urged the Central government to take immediate action to save their livelihood and protect the fishing industry which earns a large amount of foreign exchange. They also demanded a fair price for the fish.
Meanwhile, Union Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday said that the Central government is sensitive to fuel price rise while also hinting that the public might get relief (in terms of fuel price) in the upcoming month.
Singh also informed that the central tax on fuel has remained the same at Rs 32, but since the Value Added Tax (VAT) by states is set in percentage, their tax increase as the price of fuel increases internationally.
Fuel rates have increased across the country and differ from state to state depending on the incidence of VAT.