Don’t categorise fishermen as “bulk consumers”: Kamat

Mumbai: Former Union Minister Gurudas Kamat has appealed to the Centre not to include fishermen in bulk consumer category and withdraw the hike of Rs 10 per litre in diesel fare.

In a letter to Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily today, Kamat demanded that fishermen be removed from the category of "bulk consumers" to enable them to get diesel for fishing trawlers at the normal hiked rate of additional 0.50 paise per litre for general consumers that was announced yesterday.

Kamat said that categorising fisherman as "bulk consumers" has given them a rude shock of an additional hike of Rs 10 per litre in diesel fares, which makes fishing business inviable and will lead to complete closure of business.

It would result in unemployment to thousands of fishermen all over the country, said Kamat, a Member of Parliament from Mumbai North West.

A delegation of fishing community met him late last night at a function in Versova, pleading their case, the former Mumbai Congress president said.

"I assured them that I would take up the issue with both Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily and Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan at the AICC session in Jaipur today," Kamat said in a statement.