STATE PLANS RELIEF FOR FISHERMEN The state cabinet is likely to float a relief package for fisher folk in the cabinet meet. Most fishermen have been complaining of the scarcity of fish. They are solely dependent on fishery as their source of livelihood. The cabinet is likely to pass the proposal in the cabinet giving them waivers and a package worth Rs 36 crore. The idea was first mooted by industries minister Narayan Rane who hails from the coastal Sindhudurg district. According to sources, Rane wanted a package for fishermen as many vote for him. Rane will be facing the assembly elections in October and that is part of the reason for his demands. He said that the fisher folk are facing a drought of fish. Ministry sources said that Rane felt the cabinet meet was the last one and wanted the CM to clear some sops without putting up any proposal. Chief Minister Ashok Chavan put his foot down and said that he would not accept a proposal without valid papers. There were heated discussions. Finally, CM Ashok Chavan agreed to consider the plan in the next cabinet meet. CLOUD OVER MANTRALAYA REDEVPT PLAN The Mantralaya redevelopment project, which Indiabulls appeared set to bag with a Rs 1,376-crore bid, may have run into rough weather. Top-level government sources indicated a rethink was on about the “need for such a project”. When contacted, CM Ashok Chavan stated that the proposal is yet to come to him. Only after it comes before the infrastructure committee headed by him, he will take a decision on whether or not to approve the project. Senior government officials said on condition of anonymity that the file had been “processed hurriedly” and there was a “lack of clarity” in the proposal. This sudden, apparent U turn could lead to a face-off between Congress’ CM Ashok Chavan and Deputy CM Chhagan Bhujbal, of the NCP.

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