New Delhi: Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Parshottam Rupala on Monday said his Ministry is working out the modalities of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for inclusion of fisherfolks under the ambit of Kisan Credit Card (KCC).
“Insurance for fishermen in freshwater and marine fishing both is an issue that has been deliberated for long. Another critical issue is that of extending facility of KCC to the fish farmers to meet their demands of working capital. We are working out the SOP for the same and I invite all stakeholders to send in their suggestions,” Rupala said.
Rupala was addressing a virtual conference by ASSOCHAM, an apex chamber of commerce of India, on Fisheries and Aquaculture Industry on the theme of ‘Strategic roadmap towards enabling Blue Revolution & Economic Growth.’
He also spoke about how the ambitious Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) has been striving to bring in change for the fish farmers and it can help increase exports. He highlighted the features of PMMSY along with various schemes run by the government to promote and uplift the sector.
Referring to an earlier speaker’s suggestion of increasing the credit limit to beyond Rs three lakh under KCC, Rupala said, “It is not a matter of whether Rs three lakh is less and needs more. For an ordinary fisherman, whose requirement often is Rs 25,000 or Rs 30,000, he often ends up going to a local sahukar and gets trapped into debt. KCC is meant for helping this kind of fisherfolks.”
The Minister also said, the availability of land for fish farming and a policy regarding the same are a long pending issue and there is a need to take a policy decision regarding the same.
Rupala admitted that there is a dearth of post-harvesting infrastructure in the fisheries industry, and that there is a need of further investment into this field and said, “We would definitely work out what all can be done under the PMMSY.”
ASSOCHAM said, the objective behind this virtual conference was to deliberate upon the issues which can improve the rate of growth in this sector and to record all the necessary steps to enter into a new era of fisheries & aquaculture to improve productivity along with a strong focus on the latest opportunities in the sector along with a focus on technology, marketing, finance, export and infra facilities.
The session was attended by major industry bodies of fisheries and aquaculture industry/leading industrialists, exporters, educationists, bureaucrats, FPOs, and other industry professionals.