EMCC targeted Kerala's fish wealth, reveals MoU
Thiruvananthapuram: The controversial MoU signed between US-based firm EMCC and KSIDC pointed out that the former had its eyes on the huge fish wealth in the state. KSIDC MD MG Rajamanikyam and EMCC chief Shiju Varghese signed the MoU on February 28, 2020. It is learned that KSIDC decided to cooperate with EMCC considering their proposals during ASCEND Kerala, the global investors meet.
With the MoU, KSIDC allowed EMCC for direct investment in the deep sea fishing business. The project to the tune of Rs 5000 cr offered 25,000 job opportunities.
As part of the project, EMCC decided to build 400 trawlers in association with Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC). KSIDC and EMCC planned to establish a food processing unit at KSIDC industrial growth centre in Pallippuram of Alappuzha. Following this, the government allotted the land on February 3, 2021 for Rs 5.49 crore.
The documents also revealed that KSIDC and EMCC aimed to establish a food processing unit related to the fishing industry.
A contract to make trawlers was signed to bring sufficient fish load to the food processing centre. Job opportunities for fishermen were assured in these trawlers and fish processing and distribution units.
EMCC representatives had met the fisheries principal secretary before submitting the project plan at ASCEND Kerala. EMCC had handed over the details of the project to the fisheries department during a meeting held on August 2, 2019.
The letter issued by KMCC to the fisheries secretary proves false the claims of the fisheries department that they have no clue about the project.
KSIDC claims MoU cancelled
The MoU signed EMCC is against the state government’s fishing policy which bans private partnership in deep sea fishing. KSIDC claims that the MoU stands cancelled automatically as 6 months are completed after signing.
Now, the government is withdrawing from the project after examining the setbacks and protests from the fishermen community as the opposition turned it into a political controversy.
Even though the opposition leader has come out with more revelations, the government did not make any official statements on Sunday.
It is hinted that the Chief Minister is planning to revoke the MoU with EMCC after holding talks on Monday.
Meanwhile, the government advertisement revealed that Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation has taken the contract worth Rs 2900 cr from private companies in the fishing sector for making fishing vessels. A video that featured KSIDC’s achievements has mentioned this.