National Scheme On Welfare Of Fishermen Last Updated : 24 Aug 2019

Fishermen who are in the marine and inland sector are entitled for the benefits under the scheme. Land for the development of these resources will be provided by the respective Union Territories (UTs) and States. However, when it comes to allotment of the houses to the beneficiaries, the States must follow the below-mentioned conditions:

  • The State Government must determine that the beneficiaries are active fishermen.
  • Fishermen without land and who are below poverty should be given preference.
  • Under the scheme, allotment of houses can be given to fishermen who own land or kutcha.

Subject to the type of amenity that is being provided, the State and Central Government share the cost of providing these amenities. However, 75% of the cost of amenities will be paid by the Central Government in case of North-Eastern states. The Government of India will make the entire contribution in case of Union Territories.

Eligibility Criteria

Under the National Scheme of Welfare of Fisherman, the eligibility criteria for the fishermen are mentioned below:

  • Individuals who are into full-time fishing.
  • Individuals who are members of the Cooperative Society/Federation/Welfare Society.
  • Individuals who are below the age of 60 years old.
  • Individuals who live below the poverty line.

In case a member of the fishermen family has regular employment, or he/she receives a regular income, the family would not be considered as a beneficiary.

Different types of amenities that are provided

Given below are the different types of amenities that are provided and the contribution that is made by the government:

  • Common Facility: Under the scheme, a community hall can be constructed if necessary for fishermen villages that consist of at least 75 houses. The total size of the hall should not exceed 200 sq. metres and the total cost should not exceed Rs.2 lakh. The community hall will come with two toilets (one for ladies and one for gents) and a tubewell as well. The community hall can be used as a mending shed and a drying yard in order to make proper utilisation of it. The States and Union Territories must ensure that the community hall is utilised well. In order to make it a common workplace for all fishermen, the community hall can be a workplace with a roof and pillars instead of walls.
  • Drinking Water: Under this scheme, every 20 houses will be provided with a tubewell. In case a village consists of more than 10 houses but less than 20 houses, one tubewell is provided. The maximum cost should not exceed Rs.40,000 for the construction of the tubewell. However, in the case of North-Eastern States, the cost for installation should not exceed Rs.45,000. The State Government should provide reasonable justification for the increase in cost. Depending on the requirement of water, the number of tubewells that needs to be installed will be decided. An alternate source for providing water can be given to villages where it would not be practical to build tubewalls. The State Government provides the entire contribution in case supply of drinking water is more than the construction of a tubewell.
  • Housing: In order to be eligible for housing under the scheme, the village must consist of a minimum of 10 houses. However, the number of houses that can be constructed in the village depends on the number of fishermen that are eligible under the scheme, and there is no upper limit. However, the State must ensure that houses are allotted equally among all eligible fishermen. The base area must be within 35 sq. metres and the cost of construction of the house should not exceed Rs.75,000. However, depending on the resources that are available, the State Government can plan the construction accordingly so that more houses can be constructed.

Training and Extension

Under the National Scheme of Welfare of Fisherman, Training and Extension is a component that can be executed. The State and Central Governments will contribute towards the expenditure of the component on a 50:50 basis. The contribution will be on a 75:25 basis in case of North-Eastern states. The entire cost will be contributed by the Central Government in case of Union Territories.

Saving-cum-Relief

The implementation of this component will be equal among both inland and marine sector fishermen. Saving is requested from fishermen for 9 months, while relief is provided to them via a fishing ban for 3 months. The contribution that is made by fishermen is Rs.900 for 9 months. The State and Central Government each contribute Rs.900 over 9 months as well. Therefore, the entire contribution of Rs.2,700 is given to the fishermen during the 3-month fishing ban. Rs.900 is paid to the fishermen per month during this period. The Central Government will make the entire contribution in case of Union Territories, while the contribution is made on a 75:25 basis in case of North-Eastern States (the Central Government’s contribution is Rs.1,350 and the North-Eastern State’s contribution is Rs.450). Interest will be generated on the contribution that is being made by the fishermen and it will be given in the last month.

The beneficiary’s contribution will be collected by the President or the Secretary of the Association and will be given to the State or Union Territory who in turn deposit the contribution at a Nationalised Bank. The contribution will be deposited in the name of the State or Union Territories’ Director of Fisheries.

In case the beneficiary defaults on any payments, the contribution by the government will be for the months that the beneficiary makes the contribution. The total contribution will then be paid back equally in 3 months. The interest that has been generated will be paid in the last month.

However, in case the default has been only for one month and twice during the entire fishing season, the amount will be waived if the beneficiary pays the default fee. The default fee would be equal to the interest that would have been generated if the beneficiary had made the payments on time.

Depending on the weather, the lean months would vary every year. Therefore, the Director of Fisheries can decide the lean months based on climate changes and other logical reasons.

Insurance and aid for fishermen

  • Group Accident Insurance for Active Fishermen: Fishermen who are registered with State and Union Territory and State Governments will be provided insurance for Rs.2 lakh and Rs.1 lakh against death or permanent total disability and partial permanent disability, respectively. Rs.10,000 will also be provided for hospital expenses in case of an accident as well. The duration of the insurance policy would be for 12 months and the National Federation of Fishermen’s Cooperatives Ltd. (FISHCOPFED) will take out the policy for all States and Union Territories that are participating. The maximum annual premium must be below Rs.65 per person and is contributed on a 50:50 basis by the Central and State Governments, respectively. In the case of the Union Territories, the entire contribution is made by the Central Government, while for North-Eastern States the contribution is made on a 75:25 basis between the Central and North-Eastern State Governments.

In case of the States or Union Territories who have subscribed for this component, the Central Government’s contribution will be directly given to FISHCOPFED and not to the State or Union Territory Governments. However, the State Government’s contribution must be given to FISHCOPFED much before the renewal date. Depending on the annual premium, the Central Government’s share would be either based on the actual premium of the policy or the annual premium if the policy had been taken under FISHCOPFED, whichever is lesser.

Both marine and inland sector fishermen are covered under the scheme, and the fishermen do not have to make any contributions towards this component. The scheme would be operated through an Insurance company and will be executed by FISHCOPFED. However, in order to make sure service is provided adequately and depending on the requirements, the Ministry may take the help of one or more different agencies.

  • Grants-in-aid provided to FISHCOPFED: FISHCOPFED is a National Level Federation that is mainly concerned in providing fishermen welfare activities by giving training and insurance. Due to the importance of FISHCOPFED, there is a need to strengthen the organisation. Therefore, Rs.50 lakh per year will be provided as a grant-in-aid to FISHCOPFED. There will also be an encouragement given to FISHCOPFED to conduct training programmes to improve the skills of traditional fishermen by making use of the funds available or by using funds that are available from other schemes that are currently active.

Assistance that has been granted for various components under Training and Extension programme

Component Assistance granted
Human Resources Development For a training period of a maximum of 15 days, Rs.125 is provided as a stipend per day (maximum of Rs.1,875 for 15 days). Rs.500 is also provided to every participant as bus or train travel charges. Rs.1,000 is also provided for every guest lecture for their professional services. However, there can be a maximum of two lectures per day. Rs.1,000 is also provided to per resource person for travel expenditure.
  • Publication of handbooks
  • Publication of training manuals
  • Authors will be provided Rs.15,000 for every handbook. The Rs.15,000 will also include an Rs.5,000 expenditure towards transparencies, illustrations, typing, stationaries, etc. In order to print about 500 copies of the handbook, Rs.50,000 will be provided to the Organisation, Union Territory, or State Government.
  • In order to prepare the manual, Rs.5,000 will be paid to the expert. Rs.20,000 will also be provided to the Organisation, State Government, or Union Territory to print about 500 manuals.
Fisheries Division activities at the Headquarters In order to strengthen the extension and training skills of personnel at the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries Headquarters, overhead expenditure will be provided. Seminars, symposia, international conferences, etc. must also be organised using these funds.
Establishment of Fish Farmers’ Training and Awareness Centres The training and awareness centres were merged with a view of infrastructure and common facilities. This merger cost Rs.30 lakh and helped in the establishment of the Farmers’ Training and Awareness Centre. Rs.60 lakh is provided as financial assistance to every state for the establishment of a maximum of two Farmers’ Training and Awareness Centres. The State and Union Territories would contribute to the land and operational costs.
Seminars/workshops/symposia workshop In order to organise National level workshops and seminars, a lump sum amount of a maximum of Rs.1 lakh is provided for the publication of these proceedings. After checking with the Integrated Finance, the Division determines the meeting expenditure of the miscellaneous items. The State and Union Territories contribute a maximum amount of Rs.50,000 for organising these workshops and seminars.

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