M'luru dry fish vendors to support TN, Kerala Nov 10 strike

Canara Dry Fish Merchants Association has supported the strike to be observed by the fish merchants in Kerala and Tamil Nadu on November 10, opposing the imposition of 5% GST on dry fish. Dry fish sellers too have supported the stir.

Addressing the media in Mangaluru on Thursday, Canara Dry Fish Merchants Association President Abdul Rehman Haji said that dry fish is used by poor people as a part of their daily meal.

The preparation of dry fish does not involve the process of refrigeration and other modern equipment. Therefore, if GST is imposed on dry fish, the less privileged buyers will find it difficult to buy dry fish.

More than 25,000 women working in the dry fish industry will be hit due to the imposition of GST.  Therefore, the GST council should reconsider the decision and reduce the GST rates on dry fish, Abdul Rehman said.

A memorandum has been submitted to M P Nalin Kumar Kateel and Agricultural Minister and GST Council member from Karnataka Krishna Bhairegowda. But, no action has been taken so far.

He pointed out that the fish meal, which is the powdered form of dry fish (non-edible), has not been taxed. But, the dry fish which is edible has been taxed.

The transactions related to dry fish is done between various states. Most of the dry fish prepared in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi is exported to Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

In Mangaluru alone, around 100 tonnes of dry fish and salted fish is procured from Gujrat, Maharastra and Goa per day. The dry fish imported from these states, along with the dry fish prepared in Mangaluru is supplied to Tamil Nadu and Kerala and also to places like Hassan, Mudigere, Shikaripura, Koppa and other places as per the demand. These are the places where raw fish is not available.  

About 60 to 75 tonnes of dry fish is exported from Mangaluru everyday as per demand, with a turnover of Rs 5 crore per month.

But, as the dry fish merchants in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Goa have not been supplying dry fish to Mangaluru due to increased cost after the imposition of GST, a scarcity has been created.  

Canara Dry Fish Merchants Association, Bunder, Secretary Keshava, Treasurer Yadava and member T A Bashir were present.

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