The demonetization move has affected ‘fishing industry’ tremendously. Fishing operations have drastically come to a grinding halt since Saturday.
Edmund Thennavan, president, Tamil Nadu Fishermen Association, told media sources that not only fishing operations is getting affected by this move but its allied industries such as ice manufacturing and logistics had been affected. Modi should have given a breather to public before scrapping Rs500 and Rs 1000 currency notes from the system. Though the Centre had targeted black money holders, common people should not have been made to suffer like this, he further concluded.
A fisherman, J. Ashok, told media that his fish netted couple of days ago has remained unsold because of this surprise move. It has become troublesome for many fishermen as they have become helpless without cash. Also, the situation has led to significant fall in seafood prices. Earlier, the fish which was sold for Rs.500 now, is being sold for Rs. 300. Since traders were not willing to procure fish, they have to sell it to the local market vendors at a lesser price. S. Xavier Vas, president, Thoothukudi Mechanised Boat Owners’ Association, said boat owners has been facing tough times terribly, as every boat required Rs.1.40 lakh for a sailing day to meet the expenses on diesel, oil, ice bars and labour.
Additionally, the limitation enforced on withdrawal of cash from banks and on its exchange, the money flow is being deeply affected as the required money could not be withdrawn. Therefore, fishermen are left with no other alternative but to suspend fishing which has resulted in a loss of approximately Rs.2 crore in foreign exchange to the government every day since seafood exports has been affected, Xavier Vas said.
The economy of Thoothukudi, which is majorly based on the fishing industry, is remained affected. As many as 230 mechanised boats remained anchored at the fishing harbour here, there is no surety of, whether fishing would resume on Monday, he said.
On the other hand, the secretary of Country Boat Fishermen Association, R. Raj revealed that seafood auctioneers has been asked to procure seafood after paying one-fourth of the old currency notes, which has been demonetized, and the rest with fresh currency notes until November-end. Although, it is not yet certain that boat fishermen would discontinue fishing, he said.