Stalin tells Modi to reclaim Kachchatheevu

27 May, 2022 | Riya Girdhar

M.K. Stalin, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, has presented a number of key demands to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is now in Chennai.

Stalin demanded that the Prime Minister recapture the Kachchatheevu island from Sri Lanka, drawing the Prime Minister’s attention to the problems faced by Indian fisherman in Tamil Nadu.

He also added that now is an excellent opportunity to rescue Kachchatheevu Island and ensure the traditional fishing zone and rights of the Tamil Nadu fishing community, in order to find a solution to the problems that the coastal fishing community in Tamil Nadu is facing.

At a gathering to inaugurate and lay foundation stone for projects worth Rs 31,530 crore, the CM quoted former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi’s comments to clarify his government’s relationship with the Centre: “We’ll extend hand for friendship; we’ll speak out for our rights.”

The CM also reminded the PM of the Rs 14,006 crore GST compensation owed to Tamil Nadu, stating that it is the appropriate moment to reclaim Katchatheevu as a solution to the challenges faced by our fishermen and protect their traditional fishing rights. “At a time when many States’ revenues have yet to fully recover,” Stalin added, “I demand that the GST compensation term be prolonged for at least two more years beyond June 2022.”

“To name a few, TN’s contribution in India’s GDP is 9.22 percent,” the Chief Minister added, emphasising the critical role played by Tamil Nadu in India’s development and the Centre’s budgetary resources. The state of Tennessee contributes 6% of the Union government’s total tax revenue. TN accounts for 8.4% of India’s overall exports. In India’s textile industry, TN has a 19.4 percent market, while in vehicle exports, it has a 32.5 percent share. TN contributes 33 percent to the export of leather products.”

The CM outlined how the States’ portion of costs in projects that are jointly implemented by the State and the Centre rises dramatically as programmes progress.