This story is second in the series on centre’s transfer of funds to states under various fisheries related schemes. The data used in the story is from the RTI response we received from the Ministry of Finance. We take a look at the transfer under various schemes, state-wise transfers and the states that have a better fish production ratio corresponding to the central funds transfer.
In the earlier story, we explored the data related to assistance provided by the Centre to states for various fisheries-related schemes and analysed the trends over the years. In this story, we explore these trends further in detail and analyse any impact they might have had on fish production in these states.
Prior to the Integration, Scheme for Welfare of Fishermen accounted for 30% of the transfer to States
As highlighted in the earlier story, since 2017-18, a new umbrella scheme i.e., Blue Revolution: Integrated Development & Management of Fisheries was introduced, which was restructured as a merger of various ongoing fisheries-related schemes.
According to the data that we received from the Ministry of Finance through RTI, the Centre transferred funds to the states under the below four schemes prior to the implementation of the integrated scheme of ‘Blue Revolution’.
- Development of Marine Fisheries, Infrastructure, and Post-Harvest Operations
- Inland Fisheries
- National Scheme for Welfare of Fishermen
- Strengthening of Database and Geographical Information System of The Fisheries Sector
We have also highlighted in the earlier story that all the transfers to the states made in 2016-17 were under ‘Inland Fisheries’. The review of the available data for various schemes since 2014-15, prior to integration is as follows.
- National Scheme for Welfare of Fisherman was a Central Sector scheme and the transfers to the states under this scheme formed 33% and 28% of the total transfers to the states during 2014-15 & 2015-16 respectively. Tamil Nadu & Kerala have received the greatest transfer of funds under this Scheme.
- The transfer to states under another Central Sector Scheme, ‘Development of Marine Fisheries, Infrastructure and Post-Harvest Operations’ increased exponentially in 2015-16 with Rs. 110.05 crores compared to Rs.69.28 crores in 2014-15. This increase can be attributed to an increase in the transfers made to Tamil Nadu, Kerala & Karnataka along with the corresponding increase in transfers to Puducherry, Gujarat & West Bengal.
- As highlighted earlier, the transfers in 2016-17 were made only under ‘Inland Fisheries’ amounting to Rs. 383.75 crores compared to just Rs. 34.3 crores in 2015-16. Karnataka & Tamil Nadu which did not receive any allocation under this scheme in the earlier years are among the states with the highest transfers of Rs. 28.7 crores & Rs.24.9 crores respectively in 2016-17.
Decrease in transfer of funds to Tamil Nadu & Karnataka under Integrated Scheme with an increase in transfers to other States
During the first year of implementation of the new Integrated Scheme (2017-18), Tamil Nadu received the highest amount with Rs. 113.43 crores, in continuation of the trend, observed in earlier years where the state received the most funds through various schemes. However, there has been a decline in the transfer of funds to Tamil Nadu since then.
Karnataka & Maharashtra have seen a varying trend, but their position among the states receiving the most funds fell in recent years. On the contrary, Kerala has seen an increase in the transfers received under the new integrated scheme, where-in transfers they increased from Rs. 8.12 crores in 2017-18 to Rs. 93.57 crores in 2019-20. Another state, which has a year-on-year increase, albeit with a lesser amount is Madhya Pradesh.
Since the implementation of the new scheme, various states have received higher transfers during various years.
- Andhra Pradesh & Uttar Pradesh has seen an increasing trend in transfers in recent years.
- Bihar (2018-19) & Chhattisgarh (2019-20) have received comparatively higher transfers during these years compared to other years.
- There is also a trend of increased funding for North-Eastern states with Meghalaya, Tripura, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, etc. benefitting from the new scheme.
By bringing a greater number of states into the funding fold & increased funding to states, the Integrated scheme looks like taking a more holistic approach at the national level at least in the distribution of the central funds. However, information on the specific projects being undertaken under these schemes would shed light on the utilization and outcome of these transfers.
The reduction in transfers for states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and others does raise questions on the rationale of the funding decisions since these states have traditionally received more funds. This is especially important considering the fact that the ‘National Scheme for Welfare of Fishermen’ was one of the schemes under which these states received a higher share of funds prior to the launch of the Integrated scheme.
Tamil Nadu has lower production in spite of higher fund transfers, while Odisha has shown an increase in production in line with transfers
The goal of the various central schemes related to fisheries is to increase the fish production of the country. One of the stated objectives of the Integrated scheme of ‘Blue Revolution’ is to increase the overall fish production.
Based on the data regarding the transfers made under various schemes, we have analysed the impact of these transfers by taking into consideration the overall fish production of the respective states. For this analysis, we have relied on theHandbook on Fisheries Statistics-2018’, which is the latest available handbook. This limits our analysis to exclude 2018-19 & 2019-20, i.e., 2 out of the 3 years since the integrated scheme has come into effect.
It has to be noted that apart from the Central transfers, there might be many other factors influencing the production – existing infrastructure, state-level schemes & initiatives, availability of water resources, etc. While this method might not be foolproof, it is aimed at ascertaining any impact of the central fund transfers on fish production in states.
We have considered the metric of ‘Tons per Thousand rupees’ for this analysis. This implies – Number of Tons of fish production per every Thousand rupees being transferred under various schemes.
- Andhra Pradesh has the highest fish production in the country as per the data provided in the Handbook. In spite of being the state with the least amount of Central funds among the southern states (barring Telangana), it has a significantly higher production/transfer ratio with 22.53 tons/thousand rupees.
- Meanwhile, the other Southern States have lower ratios, when the production of this four-year period (2014-18) is taken into consideration. Despite receiving more central funds, the corresponding ratio for Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu is 2.1, 1.87, and 0.92 respectively.
- Similar to Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal also has a higher fish production despite lower central transfers among comparable states. Even during the four-year period, the production per transfer ratio is at par with Andhra Pradesh at 20.16 tons per thousand rupees of central transfers.
- Most of the North-Eastern states have a lower ratio, in spite of increased transfers in recent years.
- Odisha has received significant transfers during this period. While the ratio is lower at 3.16 compared to few other states, there has been a steady increase in fish production that can be correlated to the central transfers to the state during this period.
- Gujarat, Bihar & Uttar Pradesh are among the better performing states with a higher production ratio during this period, when compared to other states.
With multiple schemes being integrated into a single integrated scheme in 2017-18, and increased transfers to various states since 2017-18, the trends post 2017-18 would offer better insights on the impact of the central funds’ transfer on fish production. This can however be ascertained only after the fish production data is released up to 2020-21.
Featured Image: Fish Production