Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Friday announced a new scheme to promote processing in the fishery sector and allocated an estimated Rs 3,737 crore for the newly carved out Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
Presenting the Union Budget 2019-20 in Parliament, Sitharaman said, "fishing and fishermen communities are closely aligned with farming and are crucial to rural India."
The new scheme, Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY), will be established under the Department of Fisheries for a robust fisheries management framework, she said.
"This will address critical gaps in the value chain, including infrastructure, modernisation, traceability, production, productivity, post-harvest management, and quality control," she added.
Of the total budget allocated to the new ministry, Rs 2,932.25 crore is estimated to be spent on various schemes to promote animal husbandry and dairying, while Rs 804.75 crore for the fisheries sector in the current fiscal.
The new ministry was formed in order to promote the allied farm sector that has huge potential to help achieve the government's target of doubling farmers' income by 2022.
Hailing the budget proposal, Ajay Kakra of PwC India said, "bringing allied sector such as fisheries in focus can help the development of fishing communities and fisheries as an occupation."
It may be noted that the Economic Survey 2018-19, released Thursday called for "greater emphasis" on allied sectors with a major focus on dairy, poultry, fisheries and rearing of small ruminants in order to transform the rural economy.