KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,UPA 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.
In a letter sent to them, Chennithala said the recent fall in price of latex had affected the farmers.
Chennithala 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.
He said that in view of the situation, cess at the rate of 20 per cent should be imposed on the rubber being imported.
Chennithala said that in May 2010 the Delhi High Court had ordered to examine 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 per cent cess or Rs 20 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 cess as Rs 34. But it could not be implemented.
Chennithala told the Centre that though such actions took place, the price of rubber fell from Rs 248 to Rs 150. He said enhancing the cess on import would be the only solution to protect the interests of over 12 lakh farmers and 10,000 small-scale rubber traders.