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Seafood exporters call for separate ministry for fisheries
Thursday, 28 May, 2009, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
A seafood exporters lobby in Kerala has urged the government to create a separate ministry for fisheries. This would be beneficial not only for the exporters, but also for the five million people who were dependent on the industry, including the fishing community, said Anwar Hashim, president, Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI). "If the industry gets a separate minister, it will help things move faster," Hashim told Indo-Asian News Service.

SEAI has made a representation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress general-secretary Rahul Gandhi, in this regard. At present, the aquaculture and farming operations of the seafood industry falls under the agriculture ministry, the financial aspect comes under the purview of the finance ministry, the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) operates under the commerce ministry, and the processing and other activities are part of the food processing ministry.

"A separate ministry will bring all these functions under one roof and help us improve the business potential," Hashim said. For instance, he said, exporters had planned to set up an effluent treatment plant and a dedicated electrical sub-station at Aroor, but the proposal could not be taken forward in the past two years because of the complications in getting approvals from various ministries.
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