Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Monday, Apr 19, 2004

About Us
Contact Us
Kerala
News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment |

Kerala - Alappuzha Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Shortage of kerosene lands fishermen in deep waters

By A. Harikumar

ALAPPUZHA, APRIL 18. The non-availability of adequate quantity of kerosene and black-marketeers who sell it at high rates have landed the traditional fishermen in the district in a crisis.

According to the fishermen, those who possess permit for procuring kerosene at subsidised rates in the district were being given only less than one-third of their quota at present. The Government had issued only very few kerosene permits after 2000, they pointed out.

The fishermen said that those who had the permit for buying 600 litres of kerosene through ration shops were being given only around 150 litres of kerosene a month. (The Government gives permit for kerosene on the basis of the power of the engine of a boat).

The availability of kerosene at the licensed private shops in the coastal area has also fallen, said the fishermen. This happened at a time when only 25 per cent of the total fishing vessels were actively engaged in fishing because of the off-season, they said.

According to the fishermen, the availability of kerosene was likely to decrease in the coming months with the start of the new season.

The fishermen pointed out that the shortage of kerosene had resulted in a steep rise in its price in the coastal areas. While the cost of kerosene at ration shops was Rs. 10 a litre, the price at licensed shops in open market was around Rs. 20, they said. They further noted that in the open market shops the availability was limited. At the same time, kerosene was freely available with the black-marketeers who sell it at Rs. 25 to Rs. 30 a litre.

According to the Swatantra Matsya Tozhilali Federation, the sharp cut in the quota of kerosene to the fishermen by the Union Government a year ago was the main reason for the present crisis in the fishing sector.

Meanwhile, it is being alleged that a large number of kerosene permits had landed in the hands of the black-marketeers.

A large number of mechanised country boats for which the Government gives kerosene at subsidised rates are owned by small groups of fishermen. Often the leader of the group or the major investor sells the permit to the black-marketeers for a high price, the fishermen alleged.

The sources also said that kerosene permits had been issued for mechanised country boats that were no longer in service. This was done with the connivance of officials of the Matsyafed who had the power to issue permits, they alleged.

According to the fishermen, the effective way to counter black marketing was to increase the availability of kerosene through licensed shops that sell kerosene in the open market. The permits which were with the black-marketeers should be cancelled, they said.

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

Kerala

News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Updates: Breaking News |


News Update


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |

Copyright 2004, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu