[Reader-list] ‘Budget has ignored fishing community’
peter.ksmtf at gmail.com
Mon Mar 1 18:33:31 IST 2010
‘Budget has ignored fishing community’
Express News ServiceFirst Published : 01 Mar 2010 10:02:28 AM ISTLast Updated :
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Swatantra Matsya Thozhilali Federation
(KSMTF) president T. Peter has criticised the Union Budget saying that
there was little in it for fishing communities and termed its
description as a `green budget’ as nothing but eyewash.
Peter said in a statement here on Sunday that the Budget clearly
showed that the agenda of the UPA Government is to act as an `enabler’
of the private sector and the middle classes, he said.
By providing tax concessions to corporates and the middle and elite
classes amounting to over Rs 26,000 crore while at the same time
reducing food subsidies and raising indirect taxes which would
adversely affect the poorer sections, the budget serves to primarily
benefit a small percentage of the Indian population, the statement
`The rise in prices of diesel and kerosene due to the budget
proposals will increase hardships of the fishing community. The
repeated petitions submitted to the Union Government to recognise the
crisis in traditional fisheries sector and waive loans of fish
workers, have all been ignored,’’ he said. KSMTF pointed out the
irony of two-star category and above hotels getting massive
investment-linked concessions. This could lead to an unwanted increase
in tourism-related investment along the fragile coast.
`The fact that Goa is being provided Rs 200 crore for the restoration
of beaches is a result of the damage inflicted by the tourism industry
on its once pristine beaches. These funds should be utilised in
consultation with Goa’s fishing communities and not for the tourism
industry,’’ he said.
Despite the national and global concern on climate change and its
impact on coastal communities, it was shocking that there was no
specific fund for climate change adaptation and mitigation for coastal
areas, he said.
Much of the allocations for clean technology are likely to be
cornered by big companies who now see climate change as a huge
business opportunity. The Budget contains nothing to ensure the
promotion and adoption of community-led decentralised and sustainable
technologies, he said.
KSMTF welcomed the setting up of the National Security Fund with an
allocation of Rs 1000 crore for unorganised sector workers.
Fishworkers, especially women fish vendors, should also be able to
avail of its benefits, he said.
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