Udupi, Feb 15, 2015 : Addressing the protest rally held here at Malpe Port, All India Fishermen and Fishermen Workers Federation (AIFFWF) General Secretary Hemalatha has alleged that government’s neo liberal policies would ruin the life of the working class.
She said fishermen associations should join hands with other working class federations to fight against the government’s decision to welcome foreign investors. She said although the fishing community plays a major role in the country’s export trade, thereby contributing to the economy, the government was least concerned about the fishing community’s real welfare.
India is the largest fish producing country with a long coast line. Government is not paying genuine attention to improve the life of more than 75 lakh people engaged in the fishing trade. She alleged that displacements owing to CRZ notifications and its other implications are a huge bane to the fishermen. It has massively affected the livelihood of the fishermen.
Contradictions : Coming down heavily on the Dr Meera Kumari Commission Report, Hemalatha said the report justifies the prowling of marine and inland resources by foreign companies.
The recommendations permit foreign fishing vessels to venture into the local fishing trade and also welcomes foreign crews in Indian waters. The report contradicts the recommendations of P Murari Committee that opposed issue of further licensing to foreign fishing vessels. The Murari Committee recommended that existing licenses of foreign fishing vessels should not be renewed. The implementation of the commission’s recommendations would adversely affect the livelihood of fishermen.
Permitting large fishing vessels to enter deep-sea fishing territory of local fishermen would displace the fishermen community. The community people are deprived of education, health and housing facilities, she added. Stressing the need for implementation of P Murari Committee recommendations, she said government should think in terms of the true interests of fishermen and farmers.
The present policies envisioned by the government are detrimental. She alleged that many anti human and anti environment projects are permitted in the name of development. National level satyagraha-type agitation planned on February 23 it is understood.