ERJ staff report (TP)
Kerala, India − Ramesh Chennithala, KPCC (Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee) president, urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA (United Progressive Alliance) chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma to intervene urgently to help save the rubber farmers of Kerala from the fall in prices of natural rubber, reported The New Indian Express.
In his letter, Chennithala said the recent fall in price of latex had affected the farmers. He said the large-scale import of raw rubber from the global market by industrialists led to the huge fall in rubber price in the domestic market; and in view of the situation a 20 percent levy should be imposed on the rubber being imported.
Chennithala also said that in May 2010 the Delhi High Court had ordered an examination of the issue which led to the steep rise in the price of rubber in the domestic market.
Following this, an expert committee examined the situation and recommended to levy 20 percent Rs 20 (€0.24), or whichever is less.
When it was implemented temporarily, the industrialists took advantage of the situation.
Kerala Chief Minister and MPs met the Prime Minister to apprise him of the situation. Following this, the Ministry of Commerce decided to enhance the levy at Rs 34 (€0.40), but it could not be implemented.
Chennithala said that though such actions took place, the price of rubber fell from Rs 248 (€2.96) to Rs 150 (€1.79). He said enhancing the levy on imports would be the only solution to protect the interests of over 1.2m farmers and 10,000 small-scale rubber traders.
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Full story from The New Indian Express