'Disturbing clauses' in fisheries bill, don't move it in

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Parliament, says Stalin Chennai, Jul 20 (PTI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Tuesday said the proposed Indian Marine Fisheries Bill, 2021 'has many disturbing clauses' and urged the Centre not to move it in Parliament in the current session and put it across for wider debate and discussion.

Many provisions in the proposed Bill went against the interests of the local fishermen communities and certain clauses infringe upon the rights of states under the State List of the 7th Schedule of Constitution of India, he said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Centre has proposed to move the bill during the current session of the Parliament, he said.

'As the proposed Bill has many disturbing clauses, like criminalisation and imprisonment of fishermen, use of force against fishermen, levy of charges, levy of huge penalties etc., it has resulted in widespread protests and disquiet...' 'I urge you not to move the Bill and also put it across for wider debate and discussions. After obtaining the views of the stakeholders on the Bill in its present form, a decision on moving a fresh Bill that addresses the concerns of the fishermen communities may be taken,' Stalin told Modi.

Holding that it was an important issue, he said it was of 'grave concern' to Tamil Nadu, particularly among the coastal districts of the state.

It appears the Bill was being moved without adequately addressing the concerns and well-being of Indian fishermen, the CM said.

'While we understand and appreciate the need to protect and preserve the marine eco system, we also consider it equally important that the livelihood and interests of the traditional fishermen are clearly protected,' Stalin added.

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