MARGAO: Showing concern for the Seafarers community, Rajya Sabha Membe
r of Parliament Luizinho Faleiro has put forward a charter of nine demands, including exemption of income tax for all Indian seafarers working on Indian and foreign vessels.
In a letter to Amitabh Kumar, Director General of Shipping, he also mentioned that the Goan Seamen Association of India (GSAI) had requested him to put their demands before the concerned ministry so that the same can be implemented in India.
It may be recalled that recently, Faleiro had demanded while speaking in the Rajya Sabha, that the Union Ministry of Shipping create a scheme to provide seafarers with financial support after they retire.
He had also said that the existing pension scheme is insufficient for retired seafarers or widows of seafarers.
In his recent letter to the Directorate General of Shipping, Faleiro said that the seafaring community of the country in general, and of Goa in particular has made immense contributions to the shipping industry as well as to the economy of the country by way of foreign remittances.
“Sadly, after putting in years of hard work and staying away from their near and dear ones during their voyages, the seafarers are a neglected lot. They do not enjoy social benefit schemes, such as pension schemes. The ex-gratia scheme funded by the Welfare Society, which provided a pittance of Rs. 200 per month to the retired seafarers and widows of seafarers all these years, is no longer in existence,” he added.
A TMC MP, Faleiro urged the concerned authorities to resolve the demands of the community, on the lines of benefits provided by other countries to the shipping industry. “We require speedy
action to alleviate the hardships and difficulties faced by the Seafarers and their families so that they can live a life with honour and dignity after having contributed so immensely for the Country's economy,” he stated.