In a bid to help growers in the wake of a fall in the prices of natural rubber, the Kerala Government has decided to procure the commodity from farmers by paying Rs 2 per kg above the prices fixed by the Rubber Board on a daily basis.
Speaking to presspersons after a Cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said procurement would start soon after completing the formalities and the Government would continue to procure till the market price reaches Rs 171 per kg, which has been the average price of natural rubber in the last three years.
The Government would review the procurement system once it crosses 10,000 tonnes.
The Kerala State Cooperative Rubber Marketing Federation, Kerala State Marketing Federation Ltd and the Rubber Producers Company were the agencies entrusted with the work of procurement.
Chandy said the State has asked the Centre to suspend the import of natural rubber for six months under the advance licensing system.
The demand of rubber growers to reduce VAT rate on the commodity was under the consideration of the State Finance Department, he added.
The State also wants the Centre to take immediate steps on the report of the Rubber Board on futures trade. Kerala accounts for 90 per cent of the country’s total rubber production.
The CPI-M led LDF Opposition members had staged a walkout in the Assembly earlier this week in protest against the Government’s refusal to hold a discussion on the fall in the prices of natural rubber.