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Tuesday , January 31 2023

Uproar over cut in fish subsidies

This post has been read 11283 times!

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 7: Head of the Kuwaiti Union of Fishermen Dhaher Al-Suwayan has asked the Minister of Finance to approve the union’s request to meet with him as soon as possible in order to explain the fishermen’s suffering, reports Al-Rai daily. In a press statement, he said they had requested the meeting before the adoption of the budget for the 2022/2023 fiscal year, but the date has so far not been set. Al-Suwayan praised the efforts exerted by the Minister of Finance, who agreed to increase feed subsidies but did not agree to increase fish subsidies, even though fish subsidies did not witness an increase for more than 30 years.

Al-Suwayan

He said that the fishermen are hoping that the Minister of Finance will agree to boost the 2022/2023 budget and increase fish subsidies, or transfer some subsidies between sectors in the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR), especially since subsidies have increased and doubled in all sectors except for fish subsidies, which have not increased since 1992 despite the approval of the Board of Directors of PAAAFR and the recommendation of the fisheries sector that it should be increased.

Al-Suwayan explained that the subsidies disbursed to the authority to support the sectors increased this year from KD 27 million to KD 35 million. The fodder subsidy was increased from KD 10 million to KD 20 million. Support for farmers increased from KD 7 million to KD 8 million, dairy from KD 4 million to KD 5 million, palm trees KD 1 million, and other subsidies 500,000. On the other hand, fish subsidies were reduced from KD 500,000 to KD 450,000 in the budget of 2022/2023, including KD 80,000 for the fodder for fish farms. There are only KD 370,000 left distributed over 720 fishing licenses. He said, “The fish subsidy has decreased instead of increased, even though subsidies for all other sectors have been increased.

The union has been calling for an increase in fish subsidies for years, but unfortunately so far they have not found anyone to do justice to them”. Al-Suwayan added that fishermen need support from those who can solve the sector’s challenges, especially as they bear a lot of operating costs on fishing trips in addition to maintenance costs and the purchase of fishing equipment at the beginning of each season. He highlighted the importance of paying attention to the fishing sector and extending a helping hand to this sector so that fishermen can continue to contribute to food security in the markets, adding that the fishing sector has suffered for many years from neglect and the marginalization of its due demands.

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