A comprehensive plan is being implemented to develop the blue economy in the coastal states, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said

The Blue Economy is going to be an important source of Aatmanirbhar India and the government is working on turning the country's coastal region into a "role model of ease of living and ease of doing business", Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday.

Maintaining that the development of the coastal areas and the welfare of fishermen was one of the important priorities of the Government, he outlined a multi-pronged plan for coastal area development comprising transforming the blue economy, improvement of coastal infrastructure and protecting the marine ecosystem.

Speaking after dedicating the Kochi-Mangaluru Natural Gas Pipeline to the nation through a video conference, Prime Minister Modi shared his vision of a fast and balanced coastal area development.

A comprehensive plan for the development of the blue economy in the coastal states like Karnataka, Kerala and other states in south India is under implementation, he noted. Ports and coastal roads were being connected with a focus on multi-modal connectivity, the Prime Minister added.

Referring to the fisherman communities in the coastal areas who were not only dependent on the ocean wealth but were their guardians, he said the Government had taken many steps to protect and enrich the coastal ecosystem.

"Coastal infrastructure is being improved to meet the demand of the rising needs and aspirations. Steps like helping fishermen with deep sea fishing, separate fisheries department, providing affordable loans and Kisan Credit Cards to the people engaged in aquaculture are helping both entrepreneurs and general fishermen," Prime Minister Modi explained.

The Prime Minister used the address to talk about the recently launched MatasyaSamapadaYojna with an outlay of Rs 20,000 crore. This scheme will directly benefit lakhs of fishermen in Kerala and Karnataka, he said.

Pointing out that India was making rapid progress in fishery-related exports, Prime Minister Modi said all steps were being taken to turn India into a "quality processed sea-food hub".

"India can play a major role in fulfilling the growing demand of seaweed, as farmers are being encouraged for seaweed farming," he said.