Kerala Fisheries Minister Mercy Kutty Amma today called on Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and discussed various issues related to the fisheries sector including ban on juvenile fishing. “Some of the important issues submitted by the Fisheries Minister of Kerala included empowerment of traditional fishers for deep sea fishing, ban on juvenile fishing, providing financial assistance for procurement of marine ambulances,” Agriculture Ministry said in a release. Amma has also sought enhancement of unit cost for housing, higher central assistance for construction and renovation of ponds, establishment of hatcheries, setting up of fisheries stations, allocation of sufficient quota for kerosene for traditional fishermen, it said. On the other side, the Union Agriculture Minister informed the Kerala Minister that the central government is formulating a scheme for deep-sea fishing under which traditional fishermen will be provided financial support from the Centre for procurement of resource-specific fishing vessels and for skill upgradation. The targeted beneficiaries under the proposed scheme will be traditional fishermen group, fisheries cooperatives, and fishers associations, he added. Under the National Scheme of Welfare of Fishermen (NSWF), Singh said that the unit cost for fishermen housing has been revised and enhanced from Rs 75,000 to Rs 1.2 lakh per unit in general states and Rs.1.3 lakh in the North-Eastern and the Himalayan states. The scheme has now been aligned with the unit cost at par with Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Gramin. Among other benefits of the schemes, Singh said the central government contribution for the saving-cum-relief component under the NSWF has been enhanced from Rs 900 to Rs 1,500 per fisherman per month during the lean/ban period of three months.

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