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SEAI wants agriculture status for aquaculture sector

2 years ago | Written by Business Standard

Granting agriculture status to aquaculture sector and exempting seafood from the proposed Goods and Services Tax are the key demands Seafood Exporters Association of (SEAI) has raised at the 20th International Seafood Show that ended here today.

Besides, the Marine Products Export Development Authority, the fisheries sector coordinating agency under the Union Ministry of Commerce, is buoyed by the outcome of the three-day event, saying it gave further impetus to boosting export of marine products from the country.

 



"There is now a renewed and coordinated commitment towards achieving our goal of USD 10 billion worth of marine products' export from by the year 2020," MPEDA Chairman A Jayathilak told PTI.

While marine products export fetched USD 4.7 billion last year, the target for this year is USD 5.6 billion.

On its part, the SEAI, joint organiser of the IISS, has made an appeal to the Central government to treat aquaculture as agriculture so that large number of fishermen could benefit.

"Fisheries sector is under the Agriculture Ministry but it does not enjoy the status of agriculture. The Centre should grant agriculture status to aquaculture as it will help fishermen garner more revenue and also enhance seafood production in the country," SEAI president V Padmanabham said.

MPEDA, which is currently studying the impact of GST on seafood, has already put forward a request that the sector be exempted from GST, which is expected to come into force from April next year.

"We hope the government will take a decision on this before the GST is implemented," a senior official said.

Meanwhile, seafood exporters also raised their demand for a single international agency to oversee quality control and related issues for export of marine products.

Seafood exporters, who took part in the IISS, voiced concern over different compliance standards adopted by members of European Union as well as other major importing countries.

has already put in place stringent quality control norms, as a result of which export of seafood to countries like the US and Japan has increased significantly over the last few years.

With a new focus now on processing and value addition, MPEDA and SEAI are confident India's marine products exports will touch USD 10 billion by 2020

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