LAHORE - Anjuman-e-Tajran Machhli Mandi (ATMM) President Ch Ilyas Gujar has said that despite the fact that the fish industry has over Rs 600 billion investment and paying around Rs 68 per kg as Sale Tax, neither the Federal nor the Punjab government has taken any step for the export, modernisation and development of this neglected sector. He expressed these views while talking to newsmen at his office here on Wednesday. He revealed that over 8,000 individuals are attached with fish market while this industry is providing livelihood to over 30,000 families in Punjab but the officials of Fish Department never spent even a single penny for the development of Pakistans biggest fish market at Mori Gate. He said fish market is supplying 2,000 to 2,500 maund fresh fish for local consumption. He claimed that Fish Dept personnel used to come in the months of March-April in fish market just to penalise those shopkeepers who continue selling fish in these prohibited (Bandi) time, instead of arresting and fining those who fished in rivers and ponds. He claimed that the office-bearers of Fish Market Union themselves pay over Rs 20,000 per month to sweepers and watchmen security and cleanliness purpose as no CDGL or SWM officials visit there to perform their official duties. He complained that Fish Market Union has to arrange even streets light themselves as labourers used to start their work in darkness before dawn. He said he remained as Vice-President for consecutive ten years and now has been serving as President for the last thirteen months but despite his hectic endeavours, he could not do for the improvement and development of the market as Fish Department officials do not heed towards his suggestions and submissions. He said round 90 per cent fish is being produced and supplied through artificial farms established in Muzaffar Garh, Khan Garh, Kot Addu, DG Khan, Multan and Mandi Bahauddin while only 10 per cent is being produced through rivers and coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan. General Secretary ATMM Sardar Azhar Hussain Jhabail said his grand father Ch Khushi Mohammad, who died just few days ago, established this fish market in 1935. He said security and cleanliness are two major concerns of fish market traders who pay considerable revenue in the shape of various taxes to government but in return, they get no facility from government end. He claimed earlier Federal government had approved establishment of modern fish markets in Sukkur, Lahore and Rawalpindi and allocated Rs3.7 million to Sukkur city administration in this regard but has not transferred even a single penny for Lahore fish market. He further said Sindh government has established immense medium sized fish markets in almost all towns where fish business exist whereas Punjab government did noting in this regard. He demanded the Punjab government to transfer fish market from Mori Gate to open place adjoining to Shahdara town for establishing it on novel and modern basis. He said traffic jams due to fish market at congested areas like Bhatti Gate and Urdu Bazaar would also die out with the long-awaited transfer of fish market. He further demanded that government should extend its support to fish traders in searching fish markets in Europe and Gulf states so that fish could be exported on commercial basis which would fetch huge valuable exchequer for the country. He claimed that the Fish Market Union has taken measures to stop fish import from Burma as it took more than adequate time to reach here since consumers have to intake frozen and tasteless fish.