ERJ staff report (TP)
Kerala, India – The Kerala government in southwest India has formally launched the procurement of rubber directly from farmers at Rs 2 (€0.02) more than the market price fixed by the Rubber Board, reported The Hindu.
Launching the scheme at a function on Monday (3 March), Finance Minister KM Mani called for a change in the import policy of the Union government. He said the present slump in the rubber price was the result of its unnecessary import.
“Around 2.60 lakh [260,000] tonnes of rubber has been imported while there was nearly 2.66 lakh [266,000] tonnes [of] rubber in the domestic market. The current scenario has resulted in a huge surplus of natural rubber stock in the domestic market and this has led to the price fall.”
Besides restricting the unwanted import of rubber, the Union government must hike the import duty, he said. Mani called for some companies to purchase the required rubber from the domestic market at the same price, including the import tax, at which rubber was being imported at present.
Mani expressed optimism that district cooperative banks would contribute towards shouldering the expense of rubber procurement.
He added that the rubber growers, who usually received around Rs 2 (€0.02) a kg less than the market price from agencies, were likely to be benefit by nearly Rs 4 (€0.04) per kg through the rubber procurement scheme.
Marketfed Managing Director Tomin J. Thachankary, who presented the report, said that only 70 percent of the nearly 10 lakh (1m) rubber farmers in the State had registered with the Rubber Board. He pointed out that those interested in benefitting from the rubber procurement scheme must register with the Rubber Board. He added that the procurement would continue until the market price stabilised at Rs 171 (€2.02) per kg.
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Full story from The Hindu