India allocates USD 1.55 billion to its fisheries sector
India has allocated INR 100 billion (USD 1.55 billion, EUR 1.25 billion) to support its fisheries and aquaculture sector in its 2018-19 fiscal year budget.
The announcement was made by Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his 2018-19 general budget speech. Jaitley announced the money will be allocated to the government’s Fishery and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund. The fund supports subsidized loans to encourage the development of fisheries infrastructure projects initiated by state governments, fishing cooperatives, and individual investors.
The goal of the program, Jaitley said in his speech, is to help to speed the pace of construction of fish landing centers, cold storage and transportation facilities, processing units, and hatcheries.
Jaitley reported India has invested INR 29.13 billion (USD 453 million, EUR 364 million) in into fisheriess and aquaculture development during the fiscal-year cycle. The total is an increase of 64 percent over the investment made in the 2016-17 fiscal year, when the Indian government contributed INR 17.72 billion (USD 275 million, EUR 221 million) to the se3ctor.
Tara Ranjan Patnaik, the managing director of seafood exporter Falcon Marine, told India’s Economic Times the increased investment would be a boost India’s seafood industry.
"In underdeveloped states like Odisha, the aquaculture farms are located in remote locations and the fund could help in developing proper roads and provide electricity for the farmers. This will help in taking the produce to market quickly after the harvest," Patnaik said.
Elias Sait, the secretary, of the Seafood Exporters Association of India, said his organization welcomed the announcement, but expressed concern that the allocation of funds had been tied in with animal husbandry, which may result in a dilution of funds available to the seafood sector, the paper reported.