Wholesale fish traders to start importing fish from tomorrow

Margao, December 5th (GCCurrentAffairs): After a gap of more than a month, the fish import in the State of Goa is likely to start from tomorrow, December 6, the traders’body said on Wednesday.

The Wholesalers will carry the fish in the insulated trucks as they have required permission from Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), a representative of traders body said.

Fearing the presence of formalin in the fish, State Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has imposed ban on the import of the commodity (fish) in the State since October 29, asking the traders to get permission from the concerned authorities.

“We have applied for the trade licence from the concerned authorities by providing all the required documents. We also have got permission from FSSAI. We will be transporting the fish in insulated vehicles,” Ibrahim Maulana, President, Margao Wholesale Fish Market Association, a body representing fish importers, said.

He said that all the wholesale traders who are bringing in fish in the State would resume their business from Thursday.

State Health Minister Vishwajit Rane on Tuesday had said that the State government was thinking of relaxing the ban on fish which is being brought from the areas around 60 kms periphery of Goa border in Karnataka and Maharashtra.

He had said that the ban on the fish import from surrounding areas is likely to be lifted to help the small time fishermen who net the catch using canoes.

When contacted on Wednesday, Rane said that the State government is firm on its stand that the traders will have to comply with the guidelines.

“There will be no compromise on the safety standards of the fish. I have asked State Health Secretary to submit me detailed report by reviewing the existing situation,” he said.

On asked whether the traders would be allowed to import fish, Rane said that he would be able to brief media only after going through the report of the Secretary.

State’s Opposition party, Congress, had raised fears of formalin being used as a preservative on the fish that is imported in Goa during monsoon Session of the Assembly.

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had imposed initial ban of 15 days in July-August which was lifted later. But the opposition party continued its tirade against the government on this issue forcing Rane to impose another ban in October asking the traders to comply with the guidelines.

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