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Data Review: Which state received the most funding from the Centre for Fisheries-related schemes?

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This story is a part of the series on centre’s transfer of funds to states based on the RTI response we received from the Ministry of Finance. We take a look at the broad transfers made to states under various schemes related to fisheries. Tamil Nadu received the most funds between 2014-21 followed by the other coastal states.

As per the information provided by National Fisheries Development Board, India is one of the largest Fish producing countries in the world and has a 7.6% share in global production. Furthermore, Fish production contributed around 1.24% to India’s GVA (Gross Value Added) and around 7.28% to Agricultural GVA for the year 2018-19, underlining the importance of the Fisheries sector to the Indian economy. 

The long coastline and the abundance of inland water bodies including rivers, lakes, etc provide the requisite resources for India’s higher fish production. Initiatives by the Centre and respective states have also helped the country usher in increased productivity over the years. In this story, we take a look at one such scheme – ‘Blue Revolution: Integrated Development & Management of Fisheries’, which is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme. 

This story is part of the series where we analyse the Centre’s transfer of funds to the states. 

Data used is obtained by Factly through RTI

Integrated scheme restructured by merging of all the ongoing Schemes 

On 22 December 2015, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the implementation of an Umbrella Scheme for integrated development & management of fisheries. This Central Sector Scheme was part of the ‘Blue Revolution’ call given by the Prime Minister. 

As per the information provided by the Department of Fisheries, ‘Blue Revolution: Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries’ is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme and is restructured by merging all the ongoing schemes under the umbrella of Blue revolution. 

This scheme has an outlay of Rs. 3000 crores for a period of five years and covers the below components : 

  • National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) and its activities
  • Development of Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture
  • Development of Marine Fisheries, Infrastructure, and Post-Harvest Operations
  • Strengthening of Database & Geographical Information System of the Fisheries Sector
  • Institutional Arrangement for Fisheries Sector
  • Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) and other need-based Interventions.
  • National Scheme of Welfare of Fishers

As per the data Factly received through RTI, Centre has allocated funds to the States under this integrated scheme from 2017-18.  Prior to this, transfers made to the States under the below schemes: 

  • Development of Marine Fisheries, Infrastructure, and Post-Harvest Operations
  • Inland Fisheries
  • Strengthening of Database and Geographical Information System of The Fisheries Sector
  • National Scheme for Welfare of Fishermen

It also ought to be noted that this integrated Scheme is currently under the aegis of the ‘Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying’ and been since 2019-20 when this new Ministry was formed. This new ministry was formed from the erstwhile department of the same name which was under the Ministry of Agriculture. 

The Department of Fisheries is one of the departments under this new Ministry, while it was earlier a division of the erstwhile Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries. 

In summary, the allocation of funds to States under various schemes related to Fisheries as per the data we received through RTI and being used for the analysis is; 

  • Up to 2016-17: Centre’s transfer of funds to States through the aforementioned 4 schemes under the aegis of Ministry of Agriculture
  • 2017-18 & 2018-19: Centre’s transfer of funds to States through ‘Blue Revolution: Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries’ scheme under the aegis  of Ministry of Agriculture 
  • Since 2019-20:  Centre’s transfer of funds to States through ‘Blue Revolution: Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries’ scheme under the aegis of Ministry of Fisheries Animal Husbandry & Dairying.

Lesser Funds transferred to States in 2019-20 compared to previous years. 

From the trend in the transfer of funds under various schemes related to fisheries since 2014-15, it is evident that there has been a significant increase in the amount transferred over the six-year period (2014-20). 

During 2014-15, a total of Rs. 153 crores were transferred by the Centre to the States through the aforementioned four schemes. The transfer of the funds has been through both – treasury route (directly to the State government) and through SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) route. The next year in 2015-16, it increased to Rs. 206.8 crores. 

In 2016-17, the last year prior to the introduction of the Integrated Scheme, a total of Rs. 383.75 crores were transferred to the States. As per the data that we received through RTI, this amount in 2016-17 was transferred to the states under ‘Inland Fisheries’. A further Rs.5.49 crores were transferred to the ‘National Fisheries Development Board’ in 2016-17. We have not included this transfer in this analysis as the transfer was not made to the States, but to a central institution.

During the first year of the implementation of the integrated scheme in 2017-18, only Rs. 316.96 crores were transferred to the States, a significant reduction from 2016-17. This has increased to Rs. 491.27 crores in 2018-19, the highest allocation in a year during this period. 

In the subsequent year in 2019-20, the overall transfer to the states reduced to Rs. 441.01 crores. In 2020-21, until August’2020, a sum of Rs. 198.01 crores were transferred to the states.

Greatest amount transferred to Tamil Nadu during 2014-21, followed by Kerala & Karnataka 

During the period being analysed i.e., 2014-15 to 2020-21 (until August 2020), the greatest amount of Centre’s transfer to the States for various Fisheries related schemes was to Tamil Nadu with Rs. 332.43 crores. As highlighted earlier this includes the transfers made to the various schemes until 2016-17 & transfers made under the integrated schemes since then. Tamil Nadu is followed by the three other South Indian states of Kerala, Karnataka & Andhra Pradesh. These states form a significant portion of the peninsular coast of India apart from the inland water resources. Telangana, the only southern state without a Sea- coast, received a much lesser amount, in fact, less than 1/3rd of transfer to Andhra Pradesh, which in turn received the least among the four coastal southern states. 

Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Maharashtra & Bihar rank next to the aforementioned 4 southern states. The Reliance of these states on fisheries can be correlated based on the geographical aspects, with Maharashtra & Odisha not only home to a long coastline but also have inland river/lake systems. U.P & Bihar, although do not have any coastline, are part of the significant Gangetic river system.

Understandably, Rajasthan received only Rs. 7.48 crores during this period since this state is not heavily dependent on Fisheries because of the lack of coastline & inland water systems. 

The cumulative transfers data over the years correlates with the presence of a coastline & inland fisheries system in certain states with them receiving a greater amount than others. However, the trend is not every year. There are few states which have received significant transfers during a particular year, while there are others that have consistently received higher funds from the Centre nearly every year.  Furthermore, there is also a difference in the allocation of funds under the various schemes (prior to integration into one scheme), which may be because of the nature of the schemes. In the next story, we take a deeper look into these aspects. 

Featured Image: Fisheries-related schemes

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