National Scheme of Welfare of Fishermen
National Scheme of Welfare of Fishermen
The Centrally Sponsored National Scheme of Welfare of Fishermen was introduced to offer financial assistance for fishermen. The funds offered under the scheme can be built for constructing homes, community halls for both recreation and work purposes, installation of tube-wells, and drinking wells. The current plan outlay, which is in its 10th term, has a budget of Rs.120 crore.
The Centrally Sponsored Scheme seeks to assist fishermen from all over India to implement:
- Development of self-sustainable fishermen villages
- Accidental insurance for all active fishermen
- Saving-cum-relief resources in case of work-related accidents
Group Accident Insurance
Under this component of the Centrally Sponsored National Scheme of Welfare of Fishermen, all fishermen who are registered with the State or UT government will receive Rs.50,000 worth of insurance on death or permanent disability. An additional Rs.25,000 is also allocated in case of partial disability.
The insurance cover lasts 12 months and is controlled by FISHCOPFED for all participating States and UTs. The annual premium that needs to be paid is a maximum of Rs.15 per head, which is a subsidised amount by the grants-in-aid from the Centre and the State Government. In Union Territories, the entire amount is borne by the Central Government.
The premium that is borne by FISHCOPFED is transferred directly to farmers’ insurance policies instead of being routed via the States of Union Territories. To keep the insurance plan active, farmers need to pay their share of the premium (maximum of Rs.15 per head/term) before the due dates.
Savings Cum Relief Scheme
This component of the Centrally Sponsored National Scheme of Welfare of Fishermen offers saving and relief benefits to fishermen. Under this component of the scheme:
- Rs.75 per month is to be collected from marine fishermen for 8 months to a year
- A total of Rs.600 needs to be collected with a matching amount of Rs.600 being offered by the State and Central Government on a 50-50 share basis.
- If a fisherman defaults payment, any paid amount will be refunded along with accrued interest at the end of the 4th instalment’s due date.
- If a fisherman defaults all payments, the scheme may be waived entirely.
- Provisions are available for “lean months” which vary from coastal area to coastal area. The lean months are decided by the FISHCOPFED.
Eligibility Terms for Marine Fishermen
The scheme covers all marine fishermen eligible for Centrally Sponsored Schemes who operate under States, Union Territories, and FISHCOPFED. Fishermen under FISHCOPFED are eligible for the insurance component only. Fishermen officially licensed by their respective States or Union Territories are eligible for funds for building homes, community halls, utilities, and insurance.
To be eligible for the scheme, an individual has to be:
- Engaged in full-time fishing in the sea
- Be a member of a Cooperative Society/Welfare Society/Federation
- Lives below poverty line (BPL)
Eligibility Terms for Inland Fishermen
For inland fishermen, the eligibility terms are different from full-time marine fishermen living in coastal areas. Fishermen officially licensed by their respective States or Union Territories are eligible for funds for building homes, community halls, utilities, and insurance. To be eligible for the scheme, a fisherman needs to:
- Be below 60 years of age
- Be from below poverty line (BPL)
- Engaged in full-time activities within the inlands
Fishermen families or fishermen who are regularly employed or indulge in other income-generating activities will not be eligible for the scheme.
How to Apply
To apply for the scheme, potential beneficiaries need to apply to the nearest FISHCOPFED office. The contribution is collected by the President or Secretary of the Associations and forwarded to nationalised bank accounts held by the Director of Fisheries.
Once the funds are submitted to the Director of Fisheries, the State and Central Governments match the contributions of the fishermen as part of their premiums. Upon maturity of the schemes, the full investment is returned, along with any interest accrued.
Documents required when applying at FISHCOPFED include:
- Aadhaar Card
- Voter ID Card
- Income Certificate
- Registration as a fisherman under the State or Central Government