Deep sea fishing contract: MoU signed with EMCC cancelled, probe initiated

Thiruvananthapuram: The memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with US company EMC International for deep sea fishing has been cancelled. The action was taken as per the direction of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan following the allegations from the Opposition.

The MoU signed by the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) and Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) and allotment of land to food processing units were cancelled.

The government also decided to investigate into the situation in which the MoU was signed. Home Secretary T K Jose is in charge of the investigation. A probe is likely to be initiated against the officials also.

The Chief Minister had said the other day that the MoU was signed without informing the government. The government changed its stance after the focus of allegations against Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma shifted to the Chief Minister.

The Opposition leader alleged that EMCC chief Duane E Gerenser met the CM along with Mercykutty Amma at the Cliff House. EMCC president and Keralite Shiju Varghese confirmed this to the media later.

The Chief Minister had rejected the allegations stating that the ministers meeting with entrepreneurs is not a big deal. The government or the KSINC have not disclosed the MoU signed for manufacturing 400 trawlers.

However, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala had brought to light the MoU and other documents and challenged the CM to deny the fact that he met with the company chief.