New Delhi, March 12: A demand for setting up a national panel to champion the cause of country's fishermen and provide them a platform to raise their concerns, was made in Rajya Sabha by a DMK member on Thursday.
Observing that almost 70 per cent of fishermen were in the BPL category, Kanimozhi (DMK) demanded the setting up of a 'National Commission of Fishermen Welfare' to create a platform where 1.5 crore fishermen could voice their concerns.
Highlighting the importance of the fishery sector which contributes over one per cent to the country's economy, she said the fortunes of the fishermen, both marine and inland, have been pityful.
"Around 67 per cent of the fishermen come under the BPL category. They belong to one of the most backward categories," she said, claiming that Tamil Nadu has not received any fund from the Centre in 2013-14 for their welfare.
The setting up of the Commission would not only protect the interest of the fishermen but also give them a platform to voice their concerns, Kanimozhi said.