Import duty hike wanted to protect Indian rubber farmers
ERJ staff report (BC)
New Delhi – The Commerce Department of India wants the country’s Finance Ministry to act rapidly on its recommendation for an increase in import duty on rubber to help domestic farmers deal with falling prices, reports Amiti Sen of Hindu Business Line.
Prices of rubber have fallen to about Rs 160 (€2.23) per kg from last year’s Rs 230 (€3.20) per kg.
The Commerce Department had suggested two months ago to the Revenue Department that specific import duty on rubber be increased to Rs 34 (€0.47)per kg from Rs 20 (€0.28) per kg, based on the average price prevailing in the past three years. It, however, did not suggest any change in the 20 per cent ad valorem duty.
Rubber farmers from the Indian southern states had met Commerce Minister Anand Sharma in March to point out that if import duties were not raised, cheap rubber from neighbouring countries would flood the Indian market, further bringing down prices and possibly causing a domestic crisis.
Congress Party MPs from Kerala have already met Sharma to press for an increase in import duty on rubber to protect domestic farmers. Kerala accounts for about 90 per cent of the rubber produced in India.
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Full story from Hindu Business Line