Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced a scheme for giving loans up to Rs 1 crore to small and marginal fishermen for buying modern boats so that they can venture into the deep sea for a better catch. 

“We are bringing a scheme for poor fishermen, who cannot go deep into the sea due to the small boats they own and cannot catch enough fish,” he said at a public meeting at Diu in the Union Territory of Daman and Diu. 

b’The scheme will xc2xa0provide loans up to Rs 1 crore to small and marginal fishermen for buying modern boats/ Source: PTI’

“Under the scheme, the draft of which is almost ready and which will be implemented all over the country, we will ask poor fishermen to form a group in their villages. The group will be given a loan up to Rs 1 crore under the MUDRA scheme. The Centre will contribute 50 per cent of funds,” Modi said. 

“They (group) will be given big fishing boats which can go beyond 12 nautical miles, where catch is available in large numbers. Small fishermen, instead of fishing alone, can be part of such groups and share profits,” he said. 

The Prime Minister said people having suggestions to improve the scheme could convey them to the administration of Daman and Diu. 

“We have taken various steps to develop the coastal region of the country. We have started the Sagarmala project under which we will invest Rs 8 lakh crore,” Modi said at a public meeting at Diu, situated on the sea coast. 

Visiting the coastal district on the International Women’s day, the Prime Minister said he was glad that Diu did not have a skewed sex-ratio like elsewhere in India. 

“Today, if we have to give a message on saving the girl child, this is the right place. I am fortunate to address the people of Diu today on the International Women’s Day,”he said.

“In the entire country, there is a vast difference between the numbers of men and women. Somewhere, only 800 girls are born per 1000 boys, while somewhere it is 850 or 875 at some other place… which has created an imbalance in the society,” Modi said.

 A campaign is being launched under the “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” scheme in the entire country but this is a different place as sex ratio is in favour of women here. As against 1,000 men there are 1040 women, Modi said.