K.M. Mani says that the price of natural rubber has come down to Rs. 126 a kg because of indiscriminate imports by industries.
: Finance Minister K.M. Mani appealed to the Union Government to use money from the Price Stabilisation Fund to support growers who are reeling under a steep fall in the price of natural rubber.
He claimed here on Friday that only Rs. 14 crore of the total of Rs. 1,000 crore available under the Fund had been used to help farmers. He suggested that the Union Government double the current incentive of Rs. 25,000 per hectare to lure more farmers into taking replanting rubber.
Mr. Mani said that the price of natural rubber had come down from its peak Rs. 260 a kg to the current Rs. 126 a kg largely because of indiscriminate imports by rubber using industries in the country. He claimed that the rubber-using industry had imported about three lakh tonnes of natural rubber in different forms while the domestic supply deficit was only about 60,000 tonnes. He also claimed that the manufacturing industry was importing rubber in all forms—raw, block, latex and sheet.
He also underlined the need for increasing rubber production and bringing down cost of production.
Mr. Mani was speaking to reporters after meeting with Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman here on Friday along with Minister for Water Resources P.J. Joseph; MPs Anto Antony; Jose K. Mani; Joy Abraham and K. N. Balagopal. The team of ministers and MPs was led by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
– The Hindu