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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

India: ‘Govt needs to regulate rubber import to help local growers’

NEW DELHI: A Parliamentary panel today asked the government to regulate imports of natural rubber to protect domestic growers and arrest steep fall in prices.

It also said the imports should be need based and the quantum of imports may be determined on the basis of the gap between the domestic production and consumption.

“Regulate imports of natural rubber during the peak season through designated ports for ensuring quality check and preventing pressure on domestic rubber price,” a Rajya Sabha release said.

This is the 119th report on rubber industry in India by the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce.

“Steep decline in the price of natural rubber since last year calls for an immediate intervention to arrest further price drop and unless the necessary measures are taken, there is a possibility of growers shifting to other crops,” it added.

It said that the quantum of subsidy for replantation is not adequate and it needs to be reviewed and increased suitably to optimally support replanting costs.

The panel also suggested that the government must extend full support to the rubber board in promoting the cultivation in left wing extremism affected states such as Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal.

Further, it said that there is a need for an urgent structural reforms to address the inherent constraints of country’s non-tyre sector.

“Technology upgradation fund with a corpus of Rs 500 crore may be created for the non-tyre rubber industry,” it added.

The Parliamentary panel asked for review of free trade agreements like with ASEAN, Singapore, Malaysia and SAFTA so as to stop India become dumping ground for cheap tyres at the cost of local manufacturer.

It also asked for revisit the agricultural income tax structure on rubber plantations as they act as a hindrance in achieving optimal production and productivity of rubber in the country.

“The two non-operational tyre plants – Dunlop and Tyre Corporation of India, in case they cannot be revived, may be converted into centres of excellence of rubber for rubber silk development,” it added.

Further, it added that more than a year has passed but the report on national policy on rubber has not yet been formulated.

The government should come up with the policy within three months and “all the concerns and issues affecting the rubber sector must be addressed and should find a place in the policy,” it said.

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