New Delhi: An amendment bill to decriminalise offences committed while carrying out aquacultural activities, was passed in Lok Sabha through voice vote on Monday.
To decriminalise the offences, the bill seeks to remove the jail term of up to three years and impose only a penalty of up to Rs 1 lakh on offenders.
The Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023, was passed within 50 minutes after a short discussion in the absence of the Congress-led opposition, which had earlier staged a walk out during passage of the data protection bill.
Minister of State for Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries Parshottam Rupala, while piloting the bill said that the fishermen community of the country will welcome the bill.
The bill also seeks to expand the scope, remove regulatory gaps and reduce the compliance burden without diluting environmental protection rules in the coastal areas.
The proposed legislation also aims to iron out operational procedures of the Coastal Aquaculture Authority to make it more responsive to the needs of the stakeholders, promote newer forms of environment-friendly coastal aquaculture like cage culture and seaweed culture, and usher in global best practices in this sector, including mapping and zonation of aquaculture areas, quality assurance and safe aquaculture products.