Kerala govt to launch insurance scheme for fishermen

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Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 12 (UNI) Kerala Fisheries Minister S Sharma today said the government would launch a comprehensive insurance scheme for fishermen, enabling them to get adequate compensation to fishing equipment during natural calamities.

Talking to reporters here, he said Finance Minister T M Thomas Issac would formally inaugurate the scheme ''Matsyasureksha,'' which would be implemented through Matsyaboard, jointly by state Insurance Department and Oriental Insurance Company, at Alappuzha on August 25.

Insurance cover would be available for 75 per cent of total cost of one unit, which include boat, engine and net. The annual premium would be 1.8 per cent of the total cost, he said adding 50 per cent of the premium would be contributed by government and the remaining would be borne by the fishermen.

Stating that the government had earmarked Rs one crore for the scheme, he said about two lakh fishermen would be benefitted.

Since the existing Calamity Relief Scheme was not sufficient to release adequate compensation to the fishermen during natural calamities, the minister claimed that Matsyasureksha scheme would help to overcome the present situation.

The government would also launch an interest-free loan to fisherwomen to save them from the clutches of private money lenders, he added.

Chief Minister V S Achuthanadan would inaugurate the scheme here on September three, he said adding that Rs 21.48 crore had been earmarked for it which would be implemented through women Self-Help Groups.

UNI CGV ROY RL ND1628

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