Animal Husbandry

Government to Draft National Fisheries Policy with Rs 45,000 Crore Budget

Tooba Maher
Tooba Maher
Fishery Policy

The government will be drafting first national fisheries policy with a budget of Rs 45,000 crore for next five years. This policy will promote marine fishery, acquaculture and mariculture, as per official sources.

However, the only existing policy is on marine fisheries from which the production stands at 4.3 million tonnes annually. There is no policy on inland fisheries which produces the rest 23 million tonnes.

Adding to it, the newly carved out Fisheries Ministry is working on an overarching policy that would cover the entire aspects of the fishery sector, the sources mentioned.

An official source also told PTI, “The fishery sector never had a policy. Now, a new policy is being made. It will focus on promoting marine, acquaculture and mariculture besides addressing the traceability issues. It will cover both catch and capture fishing.”

The draft policy will now soon be placed before the Cabinet for approval. A budget of Rs 45,000 crore will be required for next five years to implement the policy, the sources said.

It is to be noted that, a policy is a statement of intent of the government. To execute a policy, certain legislation and regulations either in the form of Act or executive order are required. Schemes are framed to give monetary support. The schemes stay for only 5-10 years, and policy lasts for longer period.

Currently, two fishery schemes are being implemented. First, Fishery Infrastructure Development Fund, which is a five year scheme. The second is fishery development scheme funded partially by the World Bank. This scheme is for eight years.

However, the third scheme ‘Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana’ which was announced in July 2019 Budget is yet to get the cabinet approval. The scheme aims to boost fish and aquatic products through appropriate policy, marketing and infrastructure support.

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