Data from the Rubber Board shows 82,000 tonnes of production in those two months, against 98,000 tonnes in April-May 2017. Consumption, on the other hand, rose 13 per cent to 200,000 tonnes in the same period. Rubber Board officials were not available for comment. The Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (Atma), representing those accounting for a little over 90 per cent of industry volume, has written to the ministry of commerce and industry to act.
“While NR import is imperative to meet domestic demand, the policy environment is highly restrictive. Customs duty (on NR import) is a steep 25 per cent; there are (also) further challenges in access. The tyre industry needs to adhere to a pre-import condition, for NR import against (tyre) export obligation. Further, the export obligation period (for tyres) has been reduced from 18 months to only six months,” said Rajiv Budhraja, director-general of Atma.
The central government has removed earlier port restrictions on import of NR if under advance authorisation. The industry wants all port restrictions for NR import to go. And, nil tariff to the extent of gap between domestic production and consumption.
Atma has also expressed concern over what it says is lack of timely availability of data on NR, hampering planning by the tyre industry. “As against the standard practice of release of (each) monthly data in the first week of the next month, the production, consumption data is being released by the Rubber Board very late. The industry had no clue about NR production patterns during the current fiscal even though a quarter had elapsed,” added Budhraja.