Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

The Centre on Friday allocated Rs 20,000 crore for fishermen through the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) to tide over the crisis created by nationwide lockdown.

The government will launch the PMMSY for “integrated, sustainable, inclusive development of marine and inland fisheries,” finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters.

As much as Rs 11,000 crore out of Rs 20,000 crore is kept for activities in marine, inland fisheries and aquaculture.

Meanwhile, the rest of Rs 9,000 cr is for creating infrastructure such as fishing harbours, cold chains and markets.

This will benefit some key activities such as cage-cutter, seaweed farming, ornamental fisheries, as well as new fishing vessels and their traceability, finance Sitharaman said.

This ramping up of the infrastructure is likely to lead to additional fish production of 70 lakh tonne over the next five years, believes the government.

The government has also talked about personal insurance of fishermen and their boats which may make their life a bit easier, after the lockdown.

Moreover, these efforts will lead to employment generation of as much as 55 lakh individuals, the Finance Ministry estimated.

It will double the exports to Rs 1, 00,000 crore, said the Centre.

One of the few focus areas of the government will be the islands and the Northeast, it added.

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