Centre okays Rs 450 cr to Tamil Nadu to set up 3 fishing harbours

The Union government has pproved a Rs 453 crore loan at a subsidised interest rate of five per cent to the Tamil Nadu government for setting up three fishing harbours.

An agreement was signed between the Union fisheries ministry, Tamil Nadu government and the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) in the presence of Minister for Fisheries Giriraj Singh. The funds will be released from the Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF) that has a corpus of Rs 7,522 crore.

The first tripartite Memorandum of Agreement was signed between the Department of Fisheries under the Government of India, NARBARD, and the Government of Tamil Nadu for the implementation of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Fund (FIDF).

Speaking on the occasion, Giriraj Singh, Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, said that a dedicated fund has been created, viz the Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF), with a total of Rs 7,522.48 crore crore to address the infrastructure requirement for fisheries sector.

The Minister urged the coastal states to pay attention to deep sea fishing, post harvesting, cage culture and export promotion.

FIDF provides concessional finance to eligible entities, cooperatives, individuals, and entrepreneurs for development of identified fisheries infrastructure. The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NARBARD), National Cooperatives Development Corporation (NCDC) and all scheduled banks are Nodal Loaning entities (NLEs) to provide concessional finance under the FIDF.

Under the FIDF, Nabard will provide the fund to the tune of about Rs 2,600 crore through state governments for developing only public infrastructure like the fishing harbour, fish landing centres, modernised state fish seed farms, fish markets, disease diagnostic labs and aquatic quarantine facilities.

The loan from the FIDF to private sector players is also given through commercial banks. So far, the Centre has not received any proposals from private players.