AMARAVATI: Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Wednesday disbursed Rs 119.88 crore into the accounts of 1,19,875 fishermen families crediting Rs 10,000 each for the consecutive third year under YSR Matsyakara Bharosa compensating the off-season ban on marine fishing.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that the programme, benefiting about 1,19,875 families, was taken up for the uplift of fishermen who were struggling for livelihood during the lean period from mid-April to mid-June. The scheme was initiated in 2019 increasing the financial assistance from Rs 4000 to Rs 10,000, and the State government had spent around Rs 332 crole alone on this scheme.
With welfare of fishermen being the priority, the Chief Minister said the government had increased the fuel subsidy from Rs 6 to Rs 9 per liter which can be redeemed instantly at 100 recognized petrol bunks and also providing power at a subsidized cost of Rs 1.50 per unit to the aqua farmers despite being burdened with Rs 780 crore annually. In case of accidental death, the State government enhanced the ex gratia from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh to support the bereaved family in the hard times and so far 67 fishermen families have been provided with an assistance of Rs 6.7 crore. He asserted that the previous government completely neglected the welfare of fishermen and aquaculture in the State.
In order to create more opportunities for the fishermen here in the State rather than going to other states in search of livelihood and risking their lives, the Chief Minister said that eight new fishing harbours are going to be established, where the works of four harbours in phase-1 at Juvvaladinne in Nellore district, Uppada in East Godavari, Nizampatnam in Guntur, and Machilipatnam in Krishna district are underway with Rs 1510 crore. Soon four more harbours will be set up in Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam, West Godavari and Prakasam districts with an expenditure of Rs 1365 crore aiming to create employment for 80,000 fishermen.
Also, the Chief Minister said that the State has set up 35 aqua labs to check the quality of aqua products with an expenditure of Rs 50.30 crore along with an AP Fisheries University in West Godavari district to give expert training in aquaculture. In order to support aqua farmers to provide better prices for their produce, the State government is setting up 100 Aqua Hubs at a cost of Rs 332.9 crores, where each hub will have 120 retail shops to sell their produce directly. Currently, in phase-1 25 aqua hubs are being set up across the State and works are in progress.
Recalling the poor governance by the previous government who failed to compensate the fishermen of Mummidivaram village, the Chief Minister said that his government had paid the compensation of around Rs 75 crore to the fishermen of that constituency who incurred a loss due to GSPC evacuations. Though they did not get the amount from the Company, the government had cleared it on humanitarian grounds, he added.
Minister for Fisheries Dr Seediri Appalaraju, MP Mopidevi Venkatarama, Chief Secretary Adityanath Das, Special Chief Secretary Poonam Malakondaiah, Commissioner of Fisheries Kannababu, Government Advisor (agriculture) Ambati Krishna Reddy and other officials were present in the event.
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