Kerala Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma told a media organisation that she had received the Centre’s report on the credibility of EMCC India — that had signed deals with the Kerala government for deep-sea fishing. However, earlier, the Kerala ministers, especially Industries Minister EP Jayarajan had claimed that the state had not received those said files.
“I had received the reports on the credibility of the organisation and I have checked. However, what is wrong in checking those files?” asked Mercykutty Amma. On the other hand, during the initial phase of the allegation, she had claimed that she received no such files, and hadn’t met with anyone from the company. After Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala brought to fore the documents and reports regarding this, she changed her stance and claimed that she “might have seen them”. Meanwhile, Jayarajan would continue to deny the existence of such reports and deals.
After a public outcry against the deals, the government cancelled EMCC India’s deal with Kerala State Inland Navigation Corporation to manufacture over 400 trawlers for deep-sea fishing worth Rs 2,950 Crore. Meanwhile, the company’s main deal with Kerala State Industry Development Corporation was active, and it was duly pointed out by the opposition. Soon after the state government cancelled that as well, including the four-acre land allotted to EMCC India at the Mega Food Park in Pallipuram.
While EMCC India had been at the core of a deep-sea fishing controversy in Kerala, one of the biggest allegations against the company had been that it was a fraudulent organisation. After Union Minister V Muraleedharan had said that, the Centre and the Indian embassy in the USA had sent a report to the Kerala authorities claiming that EMCC International was untrustworthy.
Following this, Mercykutty Amma changed her tunes and declared that the company as untrustworthy. However, political observers questioned how the government could get into two deals with the company worth Rs 5,000 Crore if the state knew that the company was sketchy.
Yesterday, Ramesh Chennithala had alleged that the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government was beating around the bush with the EMCC India deals, and Mercykutty Amma’s claims refute the arguments of the state. He had asked the government to release the documents to the public, but the Fisheries Minister said that the opposition should do it.