Facing backlash over deep sea fishing project, Kerala drops MoU with firm

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By: Express News Service | Thiruvananthapuram |
February 25, 2021 6:19:54 am

Protests have been growing among the fishermen community, and the Congress-led UDF is gearing up for a massive agitation against the government in the coastal areas.

In a bid to wriggle out of the raging controversy over an alleged deep sea fishing deal with a US firm, the CPI(M) government on Wednesday repealed the Memorandum of Understanding for the Rs 5,000-crore project.

This comes after the government cancelled another MoU with the same firm for manufacturing of 400 deep sea fishing vessels and development of fishing harbours at a cost of Rs 2,950 crore.

The Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation, an investment promotion entity under the Industries Department, had inked the deal with EMCC International India Pvt Limited, an Indian arm of EMCC Global Consortium on February 28 last year “for upgradation and promotion of deep sea fishing and related activities”.

Protests have been growing among the fishermen community, and the Congress-led UDF is gearing up for a massive agitation against the government in the coastal areas.

The Kerala Catholic Bishops Council had also demanded that the government should withdraw the deal which was inked without factoring in the concerns of the fishermen — a sizable chunk are Catholics.

The Opposition, which alleged an attempt to sell off marine wealth to corporates, plans to continue with the agitation.

On Wednesday, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi also raised the issue during an interaction with fishermen in Kollam.

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