The Navelim Civic and Consumer Forum on Sunday passed a resolution to write to the government requesting for subsidised fish to consumers while demanding that the fisheries department set up a corporation to ensure safe and cheaper fish to Goans.
Speaking to reporters, secretary of the Forum Joseph Vaz said that the decision has been taken so that the consumers get the direct benefit of subsidy.
He said the forum members felt that the state government should come out with a scheme to subsidise fish instead of providing subsidy to the trawler owners.
Vaz, who was speaking to reporters after the monthly meeting, said that instead of subsidising diesel for the trawlers, which has scope for misuse, the government could buy the fish from the trawlers at a good rate and subsidise and sell the same to Goans. “In this way, the trawler owners will be assured of a good rate and people of the state will get good, safe fish to eat at affordable rates,” he said.
Questioning the subsidy provided to trawler owners, the forum said that the money is given to the trawler owners from the government treasury when the fish does not reach the Goans. “It is the traders from outside Goa who are controlling the fish business. They decide the rates for the fish and how much quantity to sell in the market,” the forum said.
Vaz said that the fisheries department will have to set up a corporation like the Horticulture Corporation and invest in a cold storage and use the existing mobile fish vans to sell the fish all over Goa. He further stated that the fisheries department should take the help of agriculture department, which has done a good job through the Horticulture Corporation, of controlling the vegetable prices in Goa.
“They broke the cartels which were taking Goans for a ride. Credit must be given to their retired director Orlando Rodrigues, who had to bear a lot of attacks from these cartels. Fish is dearer to a Goan than vegetables and in the interest of Goans,” he said.
Vaz said the forum requests the government to work out a good scheme for Goan fish to be made available to Goans, fresh and reasonably priced, so that ultimately Goans are happy. Vaz also said that the fisheries department has two deep sea fishing vessels, which should be put to good use.