Agri Business

Kerala rubber growers 'disappointed' over the Budget

V. Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on February 29, 2016

The crisis-ridden plantation sector is totally disappointed over the budget proposals, as it had expected a high level of support from the Union Government especially in the case of natural rubber whose price had dwindled drastically hitting Kerala’s rural economy.

According to rubber growers, the budget has totally dampened the hopes of over 10 lakh farmers who are reeling from the fall in international prices as well as the unbridled imports, forcing a large number of them to abandon harvesting.

P.C. Cyriac, President, Indian Farmers Movement (Infam) said; “while the Finance Minister is hopeful of doubling the income of farmers by 2020, he completely forgot to think about the sad plight of rubber farmers, who are in serious distress today. We expect at least some measures for controlling the unlimited flow of imports”.

N.Dharmaraj, President, UPASI (United Planters Association of South India) told Business Line that their main expectations of a hike in import duty on rubber considering its continued low prices; weighted deduction on social cost expenditure on plantations; lowering of import duty on equipments like harvesting machines due to high wages etc have not find its place in the budget recommendations.

According to N. Radhakrishnan, Advisor, Cochin Rubber Merchants Association, growers expected the announcement of a price stabilisation fund as part of rejuvenating and replanting scheme with ₹1 lakh per hectare as subsidy. The crop insurance scheme announced in the budget will not benefit the farmers, who are reeling under severe stress on account of dwindling prices.

“At a time when the government is reluctant to appoint a Chairman for the Rubber Board, the growers are not expecting anything for their benefit. The post of chairman has been lying vacant for a long time and virtually there is nobody to hear our concern”, laments a grower.

Published on February 29, 2016
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