Rubber farmers slam demand by tyre firms for easing duty

Written by M Sarita Varma | Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: Jun 2 2010, 04:07am hrs
Rubber growers have strongly criticised the tyre industrys demand to lower the import duty on natural rubber and a ban on futures trading on the grounds that such a demand has no rational. The tyre makers had demanded lowering of the import duty and a ban on futures trading because of a over 13% rise in natural rubber prices in the last few days.

In a memorandum to Union commerce ministry this week, the growers point out that while consumer industry had imported about 1,52,000 million tonne this year, most of these were without any customs duty, availing export incentives.

Indias tyre export had grown 30% this year, the memorandum said. The end-user contends that if imports are not eased, it could impact their raw material sourcing needs. To which the rubber industrys contention is that they (the rubber industry) are committed to increase productivity.

All stakeholders have evolved a long-term strategy to boost productivity to meet the requirement of 15 lakh tonne of quality rubber by 2020, Siby Monipally, general secretary, Indian Rubber Growers Association, also a member of the Rubber Board, told FE.

When rubber price is up, it is the real farmer, not the intermediaries, who gain, Monipally argued.