The Centre has dismissed concerns over a new Rubber Bill and existence of the Rubber Board, saying the new Bill proposed only some changes that would help provide an enabling environment for the growth of the natural rubber industry, including cultivation, marketing and manufacturing.

Speaking at the meeting convened by the Rubber Board in Kottayam, Amardeep Singh Bhatia, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, said the concerns are baseless, and the activities of the Board will continue as before. Certain amendments are made in the Bill only to improve the functioning of the Board.

The Rubber Bill was formulated after seeking the views of all stakeholders in the rubber sector and the general public. The Ministry has now arranged another round of discussion with stakeholders to make the Bill flawless. Redundant and obsolete provisions in the existing Act need to be removed.

Similarly, new provisions should be included to improve the performance of the Rubber Board, he said.

Neeraj Gaba (Director, Plantation), M. Vasanthagesan (Executive Director, Rubber Board) also spoke.

Representatives from Automobile Tyre Manufacturers Association, All India Rubber Industries Association, Indian Rubber Dealers Federation, Block Rubber Processors Association, Association of Latex Producers of India, United Planters Association of South India, National Consortium of Rubber Producers Societies and National Federation of Rubber Producers Societies participated in the discussions.