THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The government will introduce a legislation to ensure quality fish in the markets as well as to regulate the auction and unauthorized marketing in the state‘s fish landing centres.

A cabinet meeting on Wednesday approved a draft bill of the planned legislation.

Currently, the lack of control over auction of fish at landing centres, harbours and markets have been helping middlemen collect huge amounts as commission from the fishermen. The new law would end this exploitation.

Once passed in the assembly, the government would have a better management system to control the harbours and landing centres. The system would discourage middlemen, resulting in fishermen getting maximum profit for their catch.

The bill would also ensure quality fish to the end customer. Those wishing to participate in the auction would have to register with the government, which would have a three-year validity. The place of auction could not be changed once approved by the harbour management.

A team, led by the respective local body president or a representative nominated by the local body, would oversee the management of the landing centres. Government officials and people‘s representatives would form the management members.

A committee, headed by the district collector, would manage the harbours. Management societies would be formed to control the public fish markets.

The cabinet also decided to form sea rescue squads in 222 fishing villages in the state. A group of 15 people would be trained as part of the squads un the first phase.

The trainees, including those from the fishermen communities, would be provided a daily stipend of Rs 700, and Rs 7.5 crore from the chief minister‘s relief fund would be allotted for the first phase.

The cabinet also decided to provide free kits, through Supplyco, to 5.95 lakh families, under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana scheme, at a cost of Rs 6.91 crore.

Besides, 1kg of for Rs 22 would be offered to 81 lakh ration card holders in the state. It would cost Rs 14.72 crore.

The cabinet also decided to introduce an ordinance to form a welfare fund board for madrassa teachers.

Ten new posts of medical officers would be created in the newly formed as many homoeo dispensaries. Pay revision would be implemented for the academic employees of the . The non-academic staff would have pay parity with their counterparts at the Regional Cancer Centre.

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