FISHING LICENCE: Fisher folk associations in Sarawak are up in arms over the renewal of foreign chartered vessel licences in the state, claiming the government broke a promise made to them by the director-general of the fishery department. The Sarawak Fishermen Association said it had submitted a memorandum to protest the issuance of chartered licences to the minister of agriculture. The licences were to run up to June 2006 but had now been extended. "They promised us there will be no more foreign charter by June 2006. Why are they renewing the permits?" a protester asked.
LAND ACQUISITION: The Andhra Pradesh government's plan to set up an oil refinery and a special economic zone near Kakinada has run into difficulties with the farmers refusing to part with their fertile land. The government signed a memorandum of understanding with the Oil and Natural Gas Commission, which entailed acquiring 4,000 hectares for the proposed refinery. There is a proposal to shift the refinery and the zone to the Thondangi mandal in the uplands. While the ruling Congress party is divided on this, the oppositon Telugu Desam Party opposes the shifting of the projects to Thondangi mandal, which comes under a constituency represented by the party.
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