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President Assures Solutions to Fishing Problems

SRI LANKA - President Mahinda Rajapakse has emphasised that problems being faced by the fishing community will be solved and expeditious concessions will be given to them.

He has said that the government has already taken several measures in this connection. The President made these comments during a sudden visit he made to the Tangalle fisheries harbour yesterday.

Meanwhile, the fuel concession for the fishing industry will come into force with a retrospective effect from the 13th of this month. Applications for this concession can be obtained from the Assistant Fisheries Directors of the 15 districts in which the fishing industry is being carried out.

The Director General of the Department of fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Nimal Hettiarachchi said that the concession will be provided for fishing vessels of four categories. For the multi day fishing vessels a monthly concession of 2,500 liters of diesel worth 30,000 rupees will be provided.

For one day vessels 1,500 liters of diesel worth 18,000 rupees will be provided. For fiberglass, OFRP and traditional boats with outboard engines a concession of 250 liters of kerosene worth 6,250 rupees will be provided.

Nimal Hettiarachchi said that the government is providing a 40 per cent concession for diesel and 80 per cent concession for kerosene oil. Around 25,318 vessels will get this concession. The expenditure that will be borne by the government to provide this concession is 256.8 million rupees. The Director General said that the fishermen who use prohibited fishing gear will not get this concession. The Petroleum Corporation has made arrangements to provide this concession under a coupon system.

The Director General also said that the Fisheries and Aquatic Recourses Department conducted a survey today and it was found that fish prices are in a low level since large stocks of fish are being received in the market.

Lucy Towers

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