Government today increased the import duty on natural rubber to up to Rs 30 per kg in order to control the sharp fall in domestic prices and protect interest of about 12 lakh farmers.
“In recent months, prices of rubber in the domestic markets have fallen considerably. The fall in prices is stated to be due to increased imports,” the Finance Ministry said.
The basic customs duty on natural rubber has been increased to Rs 30 per kg or 20 per cent, whichever is lower, from Rs 20 a kg or 20 per cent whichever was lower. “Over 12 lakh farmers who are dependent on this crop for their livelihood are to be benefited,” the Ministry said.
As per the Rubber Board data, India’s import of natural rubber was 2,37,723 tonnes during April-November 2013, up 53 per cent from 1,55,075 tonnes in the year ago period.
The price of natural rubber (RS-4) has dropped from of a high of Rs 195 a kg in July and August to Rs 156 a kg on Saturday at Kottayam, Kerala. Kottayam is one of the major markets in the country.