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Tamil Nadu: Fishers demand increase in diesel subsidy July 29,2020   |  Source: The Hindu

Citing escalation in fuel prices over the last few months, fishers have urged the Central and State Governments to increase subsidy for diesel. Opposing the fuel price hike, fishers in delta region joined their counterparts elsewhere in the country to hold protests recently. Besides Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur and Thanjavur districts in delta region, protests coordinated by the National Fishworkers Forum were also held in Chennai, Villupuram, Cuddalore, Karaikal, Ramanathapuram, Thoothukudi and Kanyakumari districts. Questioning the rationale behind the hike, the forum’s national vice-president, R.V. Kumaravelu, said the hike was akin to rubbing salt on the wound.

Notwithstanding the economic impact of the lockdown, the Tamil Nadu government hiked the State VAT on diesel. It was immediately followed by a sharp hike in central excise on diesel by the Central government despite a drop in prices of crude oil globally. The hikes led to oil companies increasing their consumer prices by Rs.5.23 per litre. Despite huge hikes at both State and Central levels, there was no change in subsidies for fishworkers, Mr. Kumaravelu said.

The incomes of fishworkers collapsed during the lockdown, and fishers were struggling to resume their professional activity for the new season. The fuel

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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2018)