PHUKET CITY: Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Newin Chidchob arrived on Phuket yesterday afternoon to offer assistance to local fishermen who lost their boats in Sunday’s tsunami
K. Newin said he had received reports of damage to 300 large fishing boats and 2,400 longtail boats. Some 20,000 people employed in coastal fishing in the six affected provinces, such as fish farmers and those who trap fish in pens, had the equipment on which they depend for their livelihoods damaged or destroyed, he said.
“Initially, the Ministry will pay out a minimum of 12,000 baht per claim. Fishermen who suffered damage will also be given a one-year moratorium on debt [repayments of subsistence loans provided by the Department of Fisheries],” he added.
“I will propose greater compensation to fishermen who lost their businesses in [today’s] Cabinet meeting. If approved by the Cabinet, the funds should be available to fishermen in the first week of 2005,” he said.
However, K. Newin has yet to announce whether his proposal was approved by the Cabinet.
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