Battered by rough weather, seafood sector seeks Centre’s aid

The disaster-ridden seafood sector has sought the Centre’s support for the release of ₹2,500-crore less than MEIS (Items Exports from India Scheme) since April final yr.

MEIS refunds are pending with the govt which, in transform, has set tremendous stress on the doing work money specifically on MSME models in the sector, reported Alex K Ninan, President of Seafood Exporters Association of India – Kerala region.

Rocketing curiosity premiums

He extra that the financial institutions have not waived any curiosity or their prices throughout the lockdown time period. Rather, they have granted only further loans with a bigger rate of curiosity by withholding promissory notes and particular securities in contrast to the government’s purchase.

In his Spending plan want listing, he reported that the RBI should really notify financial institutions to prolong the overdue packing credit history from one hundred twenty to one hundred eighty days as a speed measure from one particular yr and restructure the curiosity payments. He reported that credit history ratings are performed by agencies like Crisil less than instructions from financial institutions and quite a few models have been downgraded owing to the existing situation. Centered on the findings of the rating agencies, financial institutions lend loans, advancements and cost curiosity.

This has develop into a tool for financial institutions to deny loans and cost bigger pursuits.They should really deliver short term doing work money at subsidised premiums to tide more than the doing work money challenges and credit history ratings should really not be a standards for now, he extra.

Ninan extra that the non-payments from importers in China has created a serious economic disaster for the seafood sector with the govt not together with the sector in the Kamat committee which advised for a bank reduction offer of 20 for each cent further funding.

The ₹6,000-crore seafood sector in Kerala has been significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and factories are witnessing acute raw substance shortage. The fishing sector is closely dependent on substantial value catches of shrimp, squid, cuttle fish, octopus, clams and fishes. That’s why, he urged the govt to deliver fishermen subsidy on diesel, fishing nets, fishing gears, economic support to equip them for venture into deep sea fishing.

The All India Shrimp Hatcheries Association reported that major producers these types of as hatcheries and farmers should really get export added benefits which is not accessible to them now. D Ramraj, President of the Association, urged the govt to consider methods to take out the import responsibility on shrimp broodstock and hatchery feeds as perfectly as reduce the aquatic quarantine rate equally to other plant and animal quarantines.

Credit rating guarantee

Rajmanohar Somasundaram, CEO, Aquaconnect, suggested the generation of a credit history guarantee instrument to address minimum amount rate protection for shrimp farmers dependent on mutual arrangement concerning farmers and shrimp exporters. This will insulate farmers from worldwide rate fluctuations since 99 for each cent of the shrimp created in India are exported.

“We are anticipating a slew of actions from the Spending plan 2021 to boost the fisheries competitiveness that should really target on addressing the important gaps in fish creation and productiveness, accessibility to finance, submit-harvest infrastructure and management, modernizsation of the sector, and also for the welfare of the fishers and fish farmers,”, he extra.