Fisheries and aquaculture are an important sources of food, nutrition, employment, and income in India. The sector provides livelihood to about 16 million fishers and fish farmers at the primary level and almost twice the number along the value chain. Looking at its potential and necessity to utilize for economic growth, Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) has been approved at a total estimated investment of Rs. 20,050 crores to be implemented over a period of 5 years from FY 2020-21 to FY 2024-25.

Let us learn the broadening of the blue revolution, as they call it, which will intend to address critical gaps in fish production and productivity, quality, technology, post-harvest infrastructure and management, modernization and strengthening of the value chain, traceability, establishing a robust fisheries management framework and fishers’ welfare.

India’s link with fisheries and ocean travel is linked to be more than 2000 years old and hence this enormous research is done to upgrade its level in our economy.

I am quoting the web site containing the detailed plan of the above scheme as under:

http://dof.gov.in/sites/default/filess/Annexure%20Framework%20to%20statesUT%20%282%29_0.pdf

The following discussion makes extensive use of the above web site which is a treasure trove of information.

Let us learn the basic and the reason why fisheries attract investment of huge magnitude as quoted above?

  • Please travel along with the coastal areas of our nation and you can see thousands of fishermen who worship the nation, live along its banks and earn their livelihood from the great ocean. Apart from the economic facts which is being quoted below, the mere sight of the ocean and our brave fishermen would change your perception about the matter being discussed. It is equally sad we failed to utilize the huge resources offered by the ocean, the immeasurable human resources of fishermen who have been sacrificing their lives, and the minuscule income earned by all stakeholders from the sea as compared to the huge fortune being reaped by other nations.
  • Fisheries sector in India has shown impressive growth with an average annual growth rate of 10.88% during the year from 2014-15 to 2018-19.
  • The fish production in India has registered an average annual growth of 7.53% during the last 5 years and stood at an all-time high of 137.58 lakh metric tons during 2018-19.
  • The export of marine products stood at 13.93 lakh metric tons and valued at Rs.46,589 crores (USD 6.73 billion) during 2018-19.
  • What is its share in the Indian economy?
  • The Gross Value Added (GVA) of the fisheries sector in the national economy during 2018-19 stood at Rs 2,12,915 crores (current basic prices) which constituted 1.24% of the total National GVA and 7.28% share of Agricultural GVA.
  • Does it have the potential to multiply its contribution to the Indian economy?
  • The sector has immense potential to double the fishers and fish farmers’ incomes as envisioned by government and usher in economic prosperity.
  • Can we talk a bit about PMMSY?
  • The PMMSY is an umbrella scheme with two separate Components namely (a) Central Sector Scheme (CS) and (b) Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS).
  • The Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) Component is further segregated into Non-beneficiary oriented and beneficiary orientated sub-components/activities under the following three broad heads: (i) Enhancement of Production and Productivity (ii) Infrastructure and Post-harvest Management (iii) Fisheries Management and Regulatory Framework.

What are the aims of the above Yojana?

Doubling the incomes of fishers and fish farmers, harnessing the massive potential of fisheries, enhancing the fish production through proper usage of land and water resources, provision of social, physical, economic security for fishers and fish farmers, modernizing and strengthening of the value chain – post-harvest management and quality improvement and enhancing fishery management structure and improving the regulatory framework for this sector. Unfortunately, this has been neglected since independence.

Implementation strategy and activities

22 items have been discussed under this head but I shall touch some of them for our discussion.

  • It recognizes the important role of states and union territories for effective implementation and in case of key areas of national importance, the whole cost will be borne by the Central government.
  • Providing modern fishing boats with upgraded facilities for deep fishing, better maintenance of fishes in air-conditioned facilities, providing transport for movements, adequate provision of value chains strengthening the concept of catch till customer, thrust on water management and spatial planning supported by the regulatory framework, taking steps for infusing new and emerging technologies like Recirculatory Aquaculture Systems, Biofloc, Aquaponics Cage Cultivation etc. to enhance production and productivity, quality, productive utilization of wastelands and water for Aquaculture.
  • Promotion of startups in Fisheries and Aquaculture, incubation centers, sea ranching, encouraging innovations, entrepreneurship models are some of the pioneering approaches envisaged under PMMSY. So far educated fishermen or their children left this field due to poor income potential. Recognition of fisheries will attract the best talent.
  • What is the expected increase in exports in near future to attract the best talent?
  • Enhancing exports to Rs 1 lakh Crore by 2024-25 is one of the key objectives of PMMSY. Towards this end, the focus will be given under PMMSY for species diversification, value addition, infrastructure creation and modernization, end to end traceability, brand promotion, certification, etc. in close collaboration with MPEDA. Let us be honest among ourselves, we always saw some TV programs on the most modern way of fishing from abroad and heard of untold miseries of our fishermen caught by Pakistan, Sri Lanka, or Iran authorities.
  • It may be of interest to know that for the first time there will be provided for insurance fishing boats, as proudly proclaimed in the Yojana. Also, fishermen would also get their insurance. I do want their family members do get the same.
  • What are the most pressing thrust areas?
  • “Focused fisheries development in J&K, Ladakh, Islands, Northeast, and Aspirational Districts through area-specific strategic development planning. Large scale promotion of Aquaculture in Northern India especially in alkaline and saline areas is a focus area under PMMSY for which adequate financial resources would be earmarked.”
  • It is common sense to feel that fishers from all coastal areas of all states will be covered by the schemes to be developed by all state governments concerned and in a new zeal and effective planning, the cooperation and performance of all states including those who ignored this sector is expected. Instead of running around menial jobs to cities and living in slums, agriculturists may diversify into various ways of fishing and earn huge profits since all production is expected to be marketed using the modern methods of management.
  • Does the yojana envisage the introduction of new species of fishes?
  • The list given by the Yojana is very encouraging. “Under PMMSY, Species diversification, promotion of high-value species like Seabass, Scampi, mud crab, and thrust on Penaeus indius (shrimp) including establishing a national network of Brood Banks for all commercially important species is envisaged. For the first time, thrust is given to Genetic improvement of commercially important fish species and establishing Nucleus Breeding Center for self-reliance in Shrimp Brood stock with the allocation of requisite funds.” It is encouraging to know that proper investment of all types of energies would reward the fishers and their associates.
  • Development of Coastal fisher communities in a holistic manner through integrated modern fishing villages with necessary infrastructure is envisaged for the first time under PMMSY. Collectivization of fishers and fish farmers through Fish Farmer Producer Organizations to increase the bargaining power of fishers and fish farmers is the key new strategy under PMMSY. I sincerely wish that the claims of fishers and the fishing community to have a far better way of living with proper housing, facilities for storage of products from the sea, and all facilities to market their produce under the “Catch to consumer” slogan, and all modern ways of living like education for their children, adequate health facilities and adequate financing will also be met under this massive Yojana.
  • Further, it is pleasing to know that youth would be engaged in fisheries extension by the creation of 3347 Sagar Mitras in coastal fisher villages, and a large number of Fisheries Extension Services Centers would be set up in private space to create job opportunities to young professionals. The Yojana clearly visualizes the involvement of the private sector not only in our country but also from global value chains to upgrade the technologies involved as well as meeting the required capital for investment.
  • The central sector scheme and Centrally Sponsored Scheme have been explained about the contribution of the central government and state governments on pages 5 and 6.
  • The Yojana provides during lean season, each enrolled beneficiary after providing Rs 1500 per head would receive Rs 3000 for three months.

What is the major impact including employment generation potential?

a) The fish production is likely to be enhanced from 13.75 million metric tons (2018-19) to 22 million metric tons by 2024-25.

(b) A sustained average annual growth of about 9% in fish production is expected.

(c) An increase in the contribution of GVA of fisheries sector to the Agriculture GVA from 7.28% in 2018-19 to about 9% by 2024-25.

(d) Double export earnings from the present Rs.46,589 crore (2018-19) to about Rs.1,00,000 crore by 2024-25.

(e) Enhancement of productivity in aquaculture from the present national average of 3 tons to about 5 tons per hectare.

(f) Reduction of post-harvest losses from the reported 20-25% to about 10%.

(g) Doubling of incomes of fishers and fish farmers.

(h) Generation of about 15 lakhs direct gainful employment opportunities and thrice the number as indirect employment opportunities along the supply and value chain.

(i) Enhancement of the domestic fish consumption increase from about 5 kg to about 12 kg per capita.

(j) Encouragement of private investment and facilitation of growth of entrepreneurship in the fisheries sector.

My observation

I intentionally reproduced all the benefits with the expectation that we, the city-loving persons at least can read the benefits of this Yojana.

Who are the intended beneficiaries of the Yojana?

(i) Fishers

(ii) Fish farmers

(iii) Fish workers and Fish vendors

(iv) Fisheries Development corporations

(v) Self Help Groups (SHGs)/Joint Liability Groups (JLGs) in fisheries sector

(vi) Fisheries cooperatives

(vii) Fisheries Federations

(viii) Entrepreneurs and private firms

(ix) Fish Farmers Producer Organizations/Companies (FFPOs/Cs)

(x) SCs/STs/Women/Differently abled persons

What is the list of activities planned under the program?

Let us list them project wise:

BENEFICIARY ORIENTED SUB-COMPONENTS AND ACTIVITIES PROPOSED UNDER THE CENTRALLY SPONSORED COMPONENTS OF PRADHAN MANTRI MATSYA SAMPADA YOJANA

ENHANCEMENT OF PRODUCTION AND PRODUCTIVITY

Unless we know some of the activities proposed under this massive Yojana, we have not done justice to our learning.

1. Development of Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture (Only for this item, full coverage given)

1.1 Establishment of New Freshwater Finfish Hatcheries 1.2 Establishment of New Freshwater Scampi Hatcheries 1.3 Construction of New Rearing ponds, Construction of New Grow-out ponds 1.5 Inputs for fresh water Aquaculture including Composite fish culture, Scampi, Pangasius, Tilapia etc. 1.6 Establishment of need based New Brackish Hatcheries(shell fish and fin fish) 1.7 Construction of New ponds for Brackish Water Aquaculture 1.8 Construction of New ponds for Saline /Alkaline areas 1.9 Inputs for Brackish Water Aquaculture 1.1 Inputs for Saline /Alkaline Water Aquaculture 1.11 Stocking of Fingerling (FL) in Wetlands @2000FL/ha 1.12 Stocking of Fingerlings in Reservoirs @1000FL/ha

2.0 Development of marine fisheries including mariculture and seaweed cultivation

3.0 Development of fisheries in North-eastern and Himalayan States/UTs (besides the below activities, the North-eastern and Himalayan States/UTs will also be assisted under other sub-components/activities envisaged under PMMSY that are common to all states/UTs)

4.0 Development of ornamental and recreational fisheries

5.0 Technology infusion and adaptation

6.0 Post-harvest and cold chain infrastructure

7.0 Markets and marketing infrastructure

8.0 Development of deep-sea fishing

9.0 Aquatic health management, Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS), Strengthening of safety and security of fishermen, Fisheries extension and support services, Livelihood and nutritional support for fishers for conservation of fisheries resource, Insurance of Fishing Vessels and Fishermen.

Let us now concentrate on:

NON-BENEFICIARY ORIENTED ACTIVITIES PROPOSED UNDER THE CENTRALLY SPONSORED COMPONENTS OF PRADHAN MANTRI MATSYA SAMPADA YOJANA

  • ENHANCEMENT OF FISH PRODUCTION AND PRODUCTIVITY
  • INFRASTRUCTURE AND POST-HARVEST MANAGEMENT
  • FISHERIES MANAGEMENT AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK (Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS), Common Infrastructure for MCS including Hub stations, towers, IT based software, peripherals, networks and operations etc.
  • CENTRAL SECTOR SCHEME SUB-COMPONENTS/ ACTIVITIES WITH 100% CENTRAL FUNDING PROPOSED UNDER THE PMMSY.
  • 1 Genetic improvement programs and Nucleus Breeding Centers (NBC) 2 Innovations and Innovative projects/activities, Technology demonstration including startups, incubators and pilot projects 3 Training, Awareness, Exposure and Capacity Building 4 Aquatic Quarantine Facilities 5 Modernization of Fishing Harbors of central government and its entities 6 Support to National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), Fisheries Institutions and Regulatory Authorities of Department of Fisheries, Government of India and need based assistance to State Fisheries Development Boards. 7 Support for survey and training vessels for Fisheries Institutes including dredger TSD Sindhuraj owned by the DoF and GoI.

Conclusion

We usually heard of complaints of fishermen being caught by foreigners and asking for help to get the fishermen or their boats released from foreigners. But PMMSY opened my eyes and mind to the vast enlightening of economic activities being undertaken under fisheries and its labyrinthine headings. Really a lot of work has been undertaken to catalog them so that suitable budgeting can be done at an international level of excellence. Intentionally I have reproduced as many as possible to broaden our vision. When IT came in 2000, most of us were ignorant but the main driver of our economy today is IT and its related fields. Right now, 2024 is expected to completely expose our nation to the widest span of fisheries and its related advance activities like the establishment of food supply chains, complete transformation of our fishermen from mostly uneducated to be one of the best-trained men/women and substantial contribution of fisheries and its associated fields towards our GDP rather than treating it as a seasonal activity.

Indian fisheries have the brightest future along with the implementation of PMMSY.

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Disclaimer: It is my intention to list some benefits under PMMSY which are my personal views only. Neither taxguru.in nor the Government of India is responsible for my views. Since suitable reference has been given, anyone very serious about fisheries can refer to official sites and get the required information.

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