Jabalpur:Friday, August 22, 2008:The Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced the Fisheries Policy today at Machhua Mahapanchayat at Jabalpur. With this announcement, Madhya Pradesh has become the first state in the country to carve a separate Fisheries Policy.
The Chief Minister said that no stone would be left unturned for the welfare and uplift of Manjhi, Machhua and Kewat communities. He also announced inclusion of Nishadraj Jayanati in the list of optional leaves, extension of Janshree Bima Yojana to all the fishermen, issuing photo identity cards to them and providing loans at reduced interest rate of five percent to fish farmers.
Over one lakh fishers from across the state had assembled in the Machhua Mahapanchayat held in the premises of Jawaharlal Agriculture University at Jabalpur.
The Chief Minister further said that Nishadraj Bhawans would be constructed at every place predominant by Manjhi-Kachhua communities. Dwelling in detail about Fisheries Policy, the Chief Minister said that its benefits would be given only to the Machhua community. Arrangements are also being made to ensure that fishing trade is carried out by this community alone.
The Chief Minister said that the state government has decided to use latest techniques in fishing with a view to increasing production. He informed that Rs six crore would be spent on this scheme this year. Shri Chouhan said that fishermen would be given nets, boats, insulated boxes and other essential equipments. He said that the government would now sprinkle fish seeds in rivers free of cost so that fishermen can reap more benefits.
The Chief Minister announced to extend benefits of Deendayal Antodaya Yojana to fishermen as well. He said that under this scheme a fisherman would be eligible to undergo treatment worth Rs 30 thousand per annum at government hospitals. In case of additional requirement, help would also be extended under Rajya Beemari Sahayata Yojana.
Shri Chouhan said that priority would be given in giving fishing rights to those fishermen who have been displaced to the irrigation projects. The funds collected by leasing out ponds would be spent only for the welfare and development of traditional fishermen. The Chief Minister said that in the Fisheries Policy, the state government has abolished ten percent increase in lease amount and write off the total amount of lease rent in cases of natural calamities. He said that fishermen would also be exempted from stamp duty on the pattas given to them for fishing.
Shri Narendra Singh Tomar and Minister of State for Fisheries Shri Moti Kashyap also addressed the Machhua Mahapanchayat. Minister incharge of the district, Dr. Narottam Mishra and other public representatives were also present on the occasion.