India: Expert Group on Rubber Data Set Up

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KOCHI: The prolonged conflict between rubber growers and manufactures on the actual production and consumption figures has forced  the Rubber Board to set up an expert group to address the issue.

The members of the group will be Rubber Board Chairman, representatives from Indian Statistical Institute, Indian Council of Agricultural Research and Kerala Agricultural University. The group will strive to formulate a new methodology to take actual stock of the in the country. The trail estimation will begin by January.

Various rubber industry forums in the country recently alleged that the stocks at the end of August 2014, released by the Rubber Board, show a discrepancy of around one lakh tonnes.

“The Rubber Board has formed an expert group on rubber statistics as we had received complaints from various quarters about actual production and consumption figures. The group was formed last month and we are evaluating the present situation. Also we are examining the methods adopted by other nations to take stock of the actual scenario in the sector. We will look into options such as a complete revamp of the present method including increasing the sample size,” Rubber Board Chairman A Jayathilak told Express.

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According to the industry, based on the opening stock of natural rubber in April and factoring in the key parameters of production, consumption, import and export, the closing stock ought to have been 2.85 lakh tonnes at the end of Aug this year.  However, the stock figures published by the Board is 1.85 lakh tonnes.  In effect, a whopping one lakh has been ‘adjusted’ without any explanation.

“Since government policy is determined by import (as well as the stocks in the country), errors in the data will lead to flawed assumption and hence erroneous outcomes,” said Mohinder Gupta, President, All India Association ().

– newindianexpress.com

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