The “present financial crisis” of the Board is “of unprecedented magnitude”, as its annual outlay has been coming down in the last few years, points out the memorandum that the rubber stakeholders submitted to the minister this week.
In an unusual move, Indian Rubber Growers Association (IRGA), Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA), Association of Latex Processors of India (ALP), Indian Rubber Dealers Federation (IRDF) and United Planters Association of Southern India (UPASI) have come together to the rescue of fund-starved Rubber Board of India. The stakeholders have urged Union commerce ministry to grant a minimum additional fund of Rs 50 crore to the Board immediately.
“Union minister for commerce and industry Suresh Prabhu has promptly taken cognizance of the gravity of the issue, once we briefed him of its severe impact in our sector. He has promised to take action at the earliest,” IRGA secretary Sibi Monipally told FE.
The “present financial crisis” of the Board is “of unprecedented magnitude”, as its annual outlay has been coming down in the last few years, points out the memorandum that the rubber stakeholders submitted to the minister this week. Even the approved outlay has not been allotted in full. While the approved outlay in the 2016-17 to 2019-20 was Rs 951 crore, the actual allotment in this period was just Rs 675.97 crore.
Unless a tranche of funds is immediately released, the Board would not have enough funds to pay wages and other employee benefits this month. The stakeholders of the rubber supply chain are most worried that replanting subsidy arrears worth Rs 25 crore have been processed, but could not be disbursed due to lack of funds, says Monipally. This is bound to have a ripple effect on the domestic supply of rubber in the coming years, unless there is quick effective intervention from Centre.