Home Global rubber market news Kerala: Left outfits observe hartal for rubber import ban

Kerala: Left outfits observe hartal for rubber import ban

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KOTTAYAM, OCT 30:

Normal life was hit in Kottayam on Wednesday by the dawn-to-dusk hartal called by pro-Left farmers outfits demanding ban on import of rubber in view of crash in the prices of commodity.

The mobility of the people was seriously affected as private buses and autorickshaws kept off the roads. Shops and business establishments remained closed in urban areas.

Hub of rubber cultivation in the country, Kottayam and the adjoining areas have a large number of small and medium cultivators.

Sharp fall in natural rubber prices has been causing serious concern in Kerala, which accounts for over 80 per cent of the domestic production of the commodity.

Farmers, local traders and political parties hold increase in import of rubber by the industry tapping on low tariff rate as the main factor for the declining prices for the domestic output.

Cutting across party lines, they had been demanding that either a ban on import of rubber or increase in the import duty to shore up the price of the domestic output.

According to the Rubber Board, the domestic price of RSS-4 grade rubber has slipped to Rs.15,900 last week from Rs 18,113 a quintal since last month.

The growers, many of them medium and small holders, were also hit by the hike in input cost, especially the wages, and factors such as rotting of trees due to excessive rain and paucity of experienced tappers.

Source: The Hindu

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