The Indian Rubber Growers Association has asked the government to immediately provide additional funds for new plantations at a time when rubber prices have plummeted to a record low of ₹95/kg, a newspaper reported.
The Hindu Businesline said Sibi Monippally, general secretary of the association, had urged the government to provide an additional ₹500 crore budgetary allocation for new plantations in North-Eastern States and re-plantation in traditional areas, and also explore the possibility of safeguard mechanisms to curb rubber imports.
“In a representation to the Union Commerce Minister, he pointed out that rubber imports have touched 4.3 lakh tonnes and it may go up further by the end of this fiscal. Therefore, new plantation and re-plantation has to be encouraged by increasing the subsidy at par with other countries. Growers should be encouraged to carry out replanting at this time of distress as well taking up new plantations, as there are about 12 lakh growers directly involved in rubber cultivation,” the newspaper said.
Maintaining a reasonable price through measures such as a temporary ban on imports and a hike in the import duty on manufactured rubber goods would help the farmers to a certain extent, Monippally told the newspaper.