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Voting Reactivated On Aquaculture Law

by 5m Editor
3 December 2009, at 12:00am

CHILE - The Treasury Commission of the Senate reactivated voting on the bill of the General Fisheries and Acuaculture Law (LGPA). The new legislation has been awaiting its passage in the midst of a labour and sanitary crisis that affects the salmon farming industry as a result of the outbreaks of the infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) virus.

According to Fis.com, the formula the government would present to senators contains two key aspects: a significant rise in the amount of fines that companies that follow anti-union practices will have to pay, and a modification in the time in which the aquaculture concession would lapse.

The norm that approved the Commission of Maritime Interests establishes that the companies will lose the concession immediately if they have three convictions of labour infractions.

The objective is that companies lose the right to renew the concession when they commit that number of infractions, but have the 25 initial years to carry out the turn guaranteed, explained expert sources.

In the case that the text is approved by the Treasury Commission, it would be in condition to be seen by the floor of the Senate as of 15 December.

The decision that the senators who integrate this legislative instance will adopt is still unknown, as they are awaiting the opinion on the matter of Treasury Minister, Maria Olivia Recart.

According to the president of the Treasury Commission, Evelyn Matthei, the option to mortgage the aquaculture concessions was already approved, as was replacing their indefinite nature with 25 renewable years, “the fines, [and] the new powers of the National Fisheries Service (SERNAPESCA) ... we hope to move foreword much more with the rest of the bill.”

Legislator Camilo Escalona affirmed that “these subjects are always qualitative and non-quantitative, as perhaps tomorrow – at some point – the discussion is barred and the process halted, although it has advanced significantly.”

Meanwhile, Senator Carlos Ominami warned that “the mortgageable nature of the concessions opens a path to privatisation; and it is a specific, discriminatory treatment of a sector that has had extraordinary problems in its environmental, labour and productive conduct.

5m Editor