GAURIPUR, July 18 - Due to shortage of production of local varieties of fish and extinction of some of the local fish, the fish traders of Assam bring ‘salani’ fish from States like Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh to meet the needs of the people here, purchasing tonnes of fish to the tune of Rs 150 crore annually. As a result, the Government of Assam is losing revenue which is said to be a matter of concern. Formerly, the State Government realised 0.5% on ‘salani’ fish but due to implementation of GST, the Government is unable to collect the taxes as before. Sources close to the traders informed that the Government of Madhya Pradesh has requested the State Government not to collect any tax on their consignment of fish.
Sources further informed that the traders of the district of Dhubri mainly bring in rou, katla, chital, ari, pava, borali and Thailand magur in well-sealed thermocol cartons filled with ice so that the fish could be easily preserved for a pretty long time without rotting and formalin, a chemical is used to keep the fish fresh.
Some fishery scientists opine that regular consumption of ‘salani’ fish may cause serious health problems like blockade of blood circulation, heart problems, kidney failure and stomach troubles of various kinds. Huge stocks of ‘salani’ fish are regularly brought to be sold in fish markets of Dhubri, Gauripur, Bilasipara, Sapatgram, Golakganj, Agomani, Halakure, Boxirhat and even in small markets located in the remote places of the district.
It is also interesting to note that the ‘salani’ fish brought from outside the State are usually reared in big ponds and the fish so reared are fed chemicals for rapid growth and to increase their weights. These chemicals are also harmful to health specially for the children.
Enlightened people from all sections have urged the Government to clarify its stand on the issue as regular consumption of such fish usually is said to be the main cause of dehydration among the consumers in general and the children in particular.