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  • Demonetisation hits fishing, cashew processing in State

    Nov 16th, 2016

    KOLLAM: The Central Government has been making promises that the current imbroglio over demonetisation will settle itself in a matter of days, but thousands of workers belonging to the district’s two traditional industries, fishing and cashew processing, suspect that bleak days are ahead for them.“After the Centre’s decision, the price of fish has fallen sharply. Sardine, which usually fetches around Rs 2,000 at auctions, fell to Rs 500 the other day. It was only after we decided to accept the banned notes that the price slowly rose back to Rs 2,000. The present situation is such that people start coming holding the new Rs 2,000 notes and we are unable to provide them change. A majority of the boats are docked in the harbour and the number of fishermen venturing into the sea has also fallen,” said Ambrose, a veteranr fisherman.

    Meanwhile, Peter Mathias, secretary of Kollam District Boat Owners’ Association, told ‘Express’ that even though the state committee of the association had planned an indefinite protest from Monday it was called off following the directive of the government to the petrol stations to accept Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes for ten more days.“The fishing sector is badly affected. As far as the mechanised boats are concerned, a single’s day’s expense of operating them is Rs 20,000 to 30,000. Other than fuel charge, a considerable amount has to be spent for ice for keeping fish, spare parts, maintenance charge and wages for labourers.If the authorities don’t fix the problems associated with demonetisation, we might be forced to choose protest paths. From the day this decision came into force, only half of the mechanised boats are venturing into the sea. The district has 1,350 to 1,500 mechanised boats,” said Peter.