Govt establishes relief fund for fishermen


The fisheries director has recently notified ‘Fishermen Corpus Relief Fund’ for the welfare of fishermen, who sometimes find it difficult to get compensation for losses – human or otherwise — caused by natural calamities.
The notification for the corpus fund comes nearly four years after Phyan cyclone devastated   fishermen community in the state.   More than 50 fishermen from Goa had   gone missing when the cyclone hit the west coast of India, and the survivals have had tough time to get compensation.
“Fishing is the third largest employment generating industry after tourism and mining in Goa, and compensatory scheme is certainly a major relief for fishing community of Goa,” said the vice-president of All-Goa Fishermen Federation Association, Mr Simon Pereira.
As per the notification, the scheme will cover all the fishermen having their fishing vessels registered under the Marine Fishing Regulation Act and who make annual contributions to the corpus fund created by the government.
An amount of `5 crore will be earmarked annually and at the end of five years it is expected to reach `25 crore-mark after contributions from the government and all stakeholders from fishing industry.
The government has made budgetary support of `3.5 crore and same contribution would be continued till the target of `25 crore is achieved in the next five years.
The fisheries department has categorised seven contributors from the fishing industry for the fund with contribution ranging from `200 to `10,000 annually.
For the fund management, a committee will be constituted, which  will be headed by  the Fisheries Minister, and consist of the fisheries secretary, the  fisheries director, the joint secretary (finance), two representatives from fisheries co-operative society   and one member  each representing traditional fishermen and trawler-owning fishermen. The fund will be managed as fixed deposit in a nationalised bank that yields maximum interest. [NT]