07 Jul State working on PSR compensation package for fishermen
Published by The Star • 07/07/2020
THE compensation and other aid programmes for fishermen affected by the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project are still under review and discussion by the Penang government.
The Chief Minister’s media unit, in a statement, said that the state government with the project development partner (PDP), needed to first scrutinise the package before offering it to the affected fishermen as the agreement in relation to the project was signed on July 1.
“The package for the fishermen is still being negotiated and discussed.
“An announcement will be made once the package has been finalised, ” said the statement issued yesterday.
The statement said the Fishermen’s Task Force Committee, which was formed in 2016, is still active to ensure the charity and wellbeing of fishermen in the area.
The task force had conducted meetings from time to time and after the EIA was approved in July 2019, the task force doubled efforts to strategise the plan, especially by upgrading the socio-economy of the people in the area.
“We are committed and intend to give the best offer to the fishermen which includes an ex-gratia package for the fishermen, construction of jetties and alternative employment opportunities for the affected fishermen, ” the statement said.
The task force now is headed by Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman.
The state government reiterated its commitment to conduct an ecology offset programme to minimise impact to the environment due to the PSR development.
The issue came to light after former state executive councillor Dr Afif Bahardin expressed his concern after the state signed an agreement over the three-island project without fulfilling an important requirement with regards to compensation and other aid for fishermen.
In a statement on Friday, Dr Afif, among others, asked about the latest development in compensation package offered for the fishermen and locals.
Dr Afif said the state and its PDP were supposed to submit a ‘Social Impact Management Plan’ report to address the livelihood of fishermen and locals in the south who would be affected by the PSR project.
He said the plan included an ex-gratia package for the fishermen, construction of jetties and alternative employment opportunities for the affected fishermen.
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