VIJAYAWADA: YSR Congress MP Mopidevi Venkataramana has said the Opposition parties were misleading fishermen by spreading false information on GO-217 as regards open auctioning of fish tanks. On the contrary, the government is aiming at freeing fishermen from middlemen and capitalists and improve their living standards, he said.
Speaking to the media here on Tuesday, the MP said the fishermen societies were for namesake. Only a nominal amount is being given to the society members, he said, and added that the state government would be implementing GO-217 to ensure minimum earnings of Rs 15,000 to each member.
Venkataramana said the TD and the BJP are conspiring against the GO only to further their political interests and not for the betterment of fishermen.
Only 27 fish tanks in Nellore district will be up for open auction as a pilot project and 30 per cent of the revenue earned through the auction will be credited to the concerned fishermen society. The government will try and extend the project to other districts only after analyzing the results in Nellore, he said.
The MP noted that then Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu had given Rs 2,000 as relief to fishermen during the trawling ban period and increased it to Rs 4,000 prior to the 2019 elections, but the arrears in the payment were pending even now.
He said Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has increased the ban period relief from Rs 4,000 to Rs 10,000 after coming to power. The subsidy on diesel has been increased from Rs 6 to Rs 9 and the subsided amount for 3,000 litres of diesel for mechanized boats would be credited to the fishermen accounts immediately after they purchased the fuel. The state government has given power tariff subsidies of Rs 700 crore per year, benefitting 60,000 fishermen, he said.
The MP said, this apart, the state government has sanctioned construction of four fishing harbours in phase one and the works have started. “The land was allocated for the setting up of the AP Marine and Fisheries University in West Godavari district. While the state government has been implementing various welfare programmes for the welfare of fishermen, the Opposition parties are targeting the government for their political interests,” he said.