Agri Business

Kerala planters want hike in importy duty on natural rubber

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on February 19, 2015

The Association of Planters of Kerala has sought to enhance the import duty on natural rubber to 30 per cent from next fiscal, besides an immediate ban on imports temporarily as an urgent intervention.

The planters body said that rubber production during the current fiscal till December was 5,29,000 tonnes, which is 16 per cent lower than the corresponding period last year. However imports during the current fiscal was 3,59,857 tonnes, which is 38 per cent more than the previous year.

The un-remunerative market price is preventing growers from tapping, leading to drop in production which is being pointed out as a reason for increased imports. The farmers are losing more than ₹30/kg at current price level, APK said.

If corrective measures are not taken immediately, there would be a major shift from rubber cultivation. Already small growers have started looking for other vocations for sustainable income, C.Vinayaraghavan, Chairman, APK, said.

Time has come to take initiatives to save the industry from total collapse and put in measures to prevent hoarding of the commodity by vested interests, he added.

He pointed out that prices have come down to lowest and most uneconomical levels, while imports have increased significantly to more than 62 per cent of the domestic production. It is expected to increase further in the next two months of this year.

An analysis of production, imports, exports and consumption patterns reveals that an additional stock of approximately 5.5 lakh tonnes is available in the country, which is enough to meet the demands of the consuming industry even if no production takes place, he said.

Published on February 19, 2015
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