Rs 3 lakh for kin of fishermen held in Pakistan: PM

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New Delhi, Sep 27 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has granted a one-time ex-gratia payment of Rs 3 lakh to the next of kin of each fisherman being held captive in Pakistan.

He has also sanctioned an outright grant of Rs 30,000 for smaller fishing boats and a grant of Rs 5 lakh for trawlers to the owner of each boat or trawler seized.

The grant is being made to ameliorate the hardships caused due to the continued retention of bread winners in captivity and to address the livelihood problems due to seizure of boats.

The assistance is to be provided from Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF), an official spokesman said today.

The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) will be the designated implementation agency. The Finance Ministry shall also liaise with the implementation agency and the Department of Animal Husbandry to develop a suitable soft loan package for the replacement of fishing craft.

The Prime Minister's relief package will be in addition to all existing benefits, including those made by the Gujarat Government.

The Prime Minister had received several representations from Gujarat regarding the problems being faced by the families of fishermen held in captivity in Pakistan, along with a number of memoranda regarding the problems faced by the fishermen community due to the seizure of fishing craft.

UNI

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