Finance Minister T. Harish Rao said the State government has brought about a paradigm shift in fisheries by developing it from import of fish to export.
Earlier, the fisheries industry was understood as limited to Coastal Andhra, a notion which has been turned on its head by the Telangana government.
Along with the Minister for Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Talasani Srinivas Yadav, he flagged off 117 vehicles, which had been distributed to women beneficiaries from self help groups on Saturday, for them to run mobile fish retail outlets.
Telangana’s fish will have higher demand as they are fresh water fish, Mr. Harish Rao said, and elaborated that all the tanks in the State are being filled with water from Krishna and Godvari rivers which will help in fish yield. Government is determined to give a fillip to vocational trades, and for fishermen, so far ₹1000 crore have been spent.
Check dams are being built with an expenditure of ₹1,200 crore, where fish can be grown.
Vegetable and non-vegetarian markets are being set up in each town for which the government has allocated ₹500 crore in the State budget, Mr. Rao said.
The Minister handed over Revolving Fund cheques worth ₹45 lakh to 13 fisherwomen’s self help groups during the same event, attended by Members of Parliament B. Prakash, B.B. Patil, lLegislators Danam Nagender, Muta Gopal, Arikepudi Gandhi, Bethi Subhash Reddy, MLC Farooq Hussain and others.
Each vehicle distributed to the women costs ₹10 lakh, of which government and National Fisheries Development Board together contributed ₹6 lakh and the beneficiary, ₹4 lakh. The vehicle has facilities to sell fish delicacies on one side and raw fish on the other.
Mr. Srinivas Yadav said Chief Miniser K. Chandrashekhar Rao has increased allocations to the fisheries sector to ₹100 crore, from the earlier ₹10 crore during the joint State. This shows the commitment of the government for the development of the industry. Hundred crore fish seed is being distributed free of cost to the fishermen. The mobile fish retail outlets are being distributed keeping in view the growing demand from public for fish, he said.
The distribution will be enhanced to 500 in the coming days, and 70 of the already distributed vehicles will head for districts, he said. If the vehicles change hands, they will be seized, he warned.