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‘Proposed Indian Ports Act 2020 should net benefits for fishermen’ by V Sajeev Kumar December 29,2020   |  Source: The Hindu BusinessLine

Kerala’s fishing community has requested the Centre to safeguard the interest of the fishing sector while considering the Indian Ports Act Bill 2020 in Parliament.

The proposed Bill is aimed at development of ports vis-a- vis international trade and traffic of goods. However, the community has demanded a pivotal role in the Bill to ensure optimum utilisation of the coastal line in the country, in view of the substantial foreign exchange it earns the exchequer.

Submitting its comments on the draft Bill, the All Kerala Fishing Boat Operators Association said that prior to enactment of various port Acts, fisherfolk could take their grievances to the Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP), for a fair deal. There were instances when TAMP had been helpful, for instance in reducing jetty fees to a reasonable level when other departments refused to pass favourable orders.

However, the new Act that is going to be enacted soon is intended to keep away TAMP and the grievances of the fisherfolk would be brushed aside, said Joseph Xavier Kalapurackal, general secretary of the Association. The government should include some provisions in the proposed Act in favour of the sector, while imposing fees and penalties, he said.

Small jetties that come under the Cochin Port Trust are



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