THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In the wake of drastic fall in rubber prices which has caused concerns among rubber farmers in Kerala, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has approached the Centre seeking to hike the levy on rubber imports.
Chandy has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to take steps to restrict imports by hiking import duty.
The Chief Minister also demanded that rubber should be used for construction of the National Highway. “Since there is sufficient rubber in the domestic market, it is essential to impose restrictions on import by levying maximum duty. It is proven that use of rubberised bitumen for road tarring would add to the endurance of roads.
Hence, the National Highways Authority of India should be encouraged to use this,” the Chief Minister said. In an attempt to support rubber farmers, the State Government has been procuring rubber through Rubbermark and Marketfed by paying than the Rubber Board. However, now even the best quality rubber fetches only Rs 127. It is the lowest price in the last five years, Chandy said.