New Delhi– The All India Fishermen Congress on Thursday said it will observe a “protest week” from November 21 to 26 against “faulty” implementation of GST and to press for formation of a separate fisheries ministry at the Centre.

The decision to observe protest week was taken in the first meeting of state presidents of the Fishermen Congress here on Thursday.

“The GST (Goods and Services Tax) implemented by the central government has negatively impacted fisheries sector. The government is imposing higher tax slab for fishing equipment and various fish products under GST which has caused irreparable damage to the sector,” said T.N. Prathapan, Chairman of Fishermen Congress, in a statement.

This would destroy fishing sector across the country, he said.

“All India Fishermen Congress will hold countrywide protest against ill thought out implementation of GST. As part of this ‘protest week’, fishermen will sit in protest in front of central government offices in various states,” Prathapan said.

The Fishermen Congress also underlined the need for a separate ministry for fisheries.

“A separate fisheries ministry under an independent minister in central government is inevitable to ensure the overall socio-economic development of fishermen communities in the country,” said the statement.

“This is a long-pending demand of fishermen and allied workers in the country who comprise around 10 per cent of total population. Currently, fisheries is a separate department under Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare causing lack of special care and attention,” it said. (IANS)

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