Says Rane’s statement smells of arrogance, dictatorship and against the welfare of the people
PANJIM: The anguished wholesale fish traders and vendors in the State have demanded the resignation of Health Minister Vishwajit Rane for failing to solve the formalin in fish issue, while further mounting fear and panic in the minds of the consumers.
Margao Wholesale Fish Market Association and the retailers have condemned and sought Minister’s apology over his statement of throwing the memorandum, submitted by them to the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) Director Jyoti Sardesai, in the dustbin or putting it in shredder.
Addressing media persons, Association President Ibrahim Maulana said that they condemn the statement issued by Health Minister which smells of arrogance, dictatorship and against the welfare of the people.
“We demand that Health Minister should immediately tender his resignation as he has failed to address the issue related to fish. Last two months, this issue has raised its ugly head and Rane has failed to solve it. In fact, Health Minister’s action has further widened the fear and panic in the minds of people,” Maulana said.
“We would like to remind Rane that he is a public servant and elected representative. Margao Wholesale Fish Traders Association is a registered body and not fly-by-night entity. He should respect the traders. His language of throwing the memorandum in dustbin or putting it in shredder is arrogance, dictatorship and undoing of an elected representative,” Maulana stated.
The wholesalers and retailers have demanded Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s intervention in resolving the matter and to restore public confidence in fish. “We know Chief Minister is not keeping well but we pray for his speedy recovery and his intervention in solving this issue, which is traditional occupation of majority population,” he said.
Maulana questioned as why is the minister not concerned about fish testing and more interested in demanding for trade licence and other registration from the traders.
He said that the Association in its memorandum to FDA Director had urged to appoint FDA officer Iva Fernandes as in-charge of the fish testing facility in all the fish markets including Margao. “We had raised this demand as people have huge faith in Iva Fernandes. We were not trying to force Government to take any decision. We want the people’s confidence in fish to be restored,” Maulana said.
He reiterated that they are firm that the fish that was imported in Goa never had formalin or any other chemical in the past and even present. “Even in the future, you will not find fish traders indulging in such inhuman act,” he said.
Asking for FDA compliance is not a solution for this issue as licence is paper work and not actual testing of the fish; the association said that the government should immediately start testing fish in the market to eliminate fear from the mind of fish eating population.
“The total fish consumption has reduced by 45-50 per cent. It has become very difficult to build the confidence in public,” he said.
Maulana said that the traders have already applied for NOC from Margao Municipality and South Goa Planning and Development Authority; however, both the bodies are yet to hold their meeting to decide on the application.