Seafood will become more expensive | Goa News

Panaji: At the start of the previous fishing season, diesel stood at Rs.54 per liter – a price that trawler owners in Goa considered high in the face of the pandemic. They weren’t expecting it to drop to Rs 94 per liter at the end of the season in May.
As fishing operations resume and fuel prices hit Rs 100 per liter, boat operators, worried about their margins and the resulting impact on fish prices, demand timely reimbursement of the VAT subsidy.
“It’s going to be very difficult for us,” said Cruz Cardozo, owner of a trawler at the Vasco fishing pier.
“We need over 100 liters of fuel a day to run, but it’s not every day that we can get good catches. The days when we go back to the pier without any plugs are tough, but with the rising fuel prices those days will only get more difficult, ”he said.
There are a few states like Tamil Nadu where the state government grants boat operators a subsidy on the VAT charged for diesel. The VAT is around Rs 20 against Rs 94 of the price of diesel in Goa. Although Goan fishermen are also eligible for a VAT subsidy, many boat owners say they have yet to get their refund.
“The state government has reduced the fuel subsidy for fishermen from Rs 50,000 to Rs 30,000 since last year. It has been over a year since the pending grants were released. How can we survive these difficult times? Nerul-based fisherman, said Ozer Mendes.
Reiterating that it was not possible to run their boats at such diesel rates, Harshad Dhond, president of the Goa Purse Seine boat owners association, said: “So we want the government to grant us reimbursement of VAT per trip. It is the least he can do to help the fishing industry in Goa.
While trawler owners depend on diesel, traditional or ramponkar fishermen need gasoline to run the engines of their canoes.
However, the need to mix oil with gasoline for the proper functioning of the engine leads fishermen to shell out more money to refuel. Additionally, due to the lack of availability of fish these days due to rough sea conditions, ramponkars end up spending more time at sea, increasing their fuel requirements to two tanks instead of the usual.
“Previously we needed 25 liters, but now we need 50 liters which cost around 5,000 rupees for a single day of travel. It is not only unaffordable for us, but it is unprofitable when enough fish are not caught, ”said the secretary general of the National Fishermen’s Forum, Olencio Simoes.
He added that there will be a direct impact on fish prices if oil prices are not regulated. “The fisheries department must ensure that the government understands that the subsidy acts as a relief for fishermen and ultimately also has an impact on the price of fish,” said Simoes.
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About Christopher Easley

Christopher Easley

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