Nothing for seafood processors


The budget has several announcements for the fishing industry, but nothing for seafood processors. The decision to raise the fishing ban to 75 days from the previous 45 days is welcome.
The only thing is that the government has to step up patrolling to stop inter-state fishing during the ban period.
In the past while the local trawlers abstained from fishing, fishermen from Karnataka have been known to enter Goan waters and take away all the fish during the banned days. Financial assistance to small fishermen to switch over from kerosene outboard motor to petrol   motor is also a good thing because a petrol-fueled motor moves faster.
At the same time subsidised diesel for trawlers would have been helpful as the fishing industry comes under agriculture. Seafood exporters had asked for incentives by way of removal of demand charge on electricity tariff because the industry works for only three months in a year. That has not been fulfilled. We had also asked for inducement to set up common water treatment plant in industrial estate so that treated water can be supplied to other industries. However, we are hopeful of some announcements for exporters in the coming days. On the whole it is a pro-growth budget. [NT]