Friday, February 20, 2015

20/02/2015: AAP opposes Central Government’s decision allowing MNCs to fish in Indian waters

Several leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), hailing from the coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Uttara Kannada and also Shimoga, unilaterally condemned the Central Government's decision to permit multinational companies to conduct deep sea fishing in Indian waters, The Times of India reports

They said this decision will spell disaster for the millions of Indian fishermen and their families who entirely dependent on the ocean for livelihood.

AAP members Dr Merica Pinto, MR Vasudeva, Rohan Shiri and M Salim said the explanation by the Central Government that Indians are not capable of deep water fishing, due to which fish stock moves away from Indian waters appears to be merely an excuse. They said the Central Government has not considered major risks that MNCs can pose in destroying the livelihood of Indian fishermen and also of causing grave danger to the delicate marine ecology. This raises the question as to whether the BJP, which has the majority in the Central Government, has any vested interests that conflict with those of the people and the environment, they said.

Pointing out that thousands of families are dependent on fishing along the Karnataka's 320 km coastline apart from businessmen and industries, they said instead of providing support, relief and encouragement , the government was considering this retrograde step.

"While [the Central Government] can provide Rs60 billion (US$0.96 billion) loan to an Indian capitalist to invest in Australian coal mines, then what prevents the government in investing in Indian businesses?" they asked. They also questioned what Karnataka state and the Fisheries Development Corporation is doing in this regard?

Noting that while the PM Modi is inviting everyone to "Make in India", AAP members asked whether deep sea fishing is as complex as rocket science? AAP has demanded that the State Government take up the issue strongly with the Central Government and not allow any MNC companies to operate on the coast of Karnataka. They warned of protests in the coming days if this was not done.

Read the article HERE.

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