You are here: Home » Markets » Commodities » Other Commodities
Business Standard

Kerala seeks Rs 500 cr aid from centre for rubber procurement

The state government plans to procure 50,000 tonnes of rubber at a price tag of Rs 150/kg

BS Reporter  |  Kochi 

The Kerala government has approached the Centre seeking Rs 500 crore for providing assistance under the price support subsidy scheme to the struggling natural rubber farmers in the state.

In this regard, state finance minister KM Mani, who met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, has submitted a memorandum.

The state government plans to procure 50,000 tonnes of rubber at Rs 150 each kg under the scheme, for which, it had earmarked Rs 300 crore in the state Budget.

“Rubber farmers will be provided a subsidy, that is the difference of the daily price published by the Rubber Board and the support price of Rs 150. The scheme is being implemented in collaboration with the Rubber Board. This will ensure that all small rubber growers get an assured price of Rs 150 each kg of rubber,” Mani said. The current price for benchmark RSS-4 grade rubber is at Rs 131 every kg.

Noting the state government intends to set up a fund not exceeding Rs 500 crore from its budgetary provision for the purpose, Mani said the earmarked amount would be sufficient only to extend support for the purchase of 25 per cent of rubber produced in the state.

“This will be too inadequate to bolster rubber plantation and provide meaningful assistance to farmers,” he said.

“I request Government of India to extend Rs 500 crore support from the Price Stabilisation Fund to supplement the resources of the state,” Mani said in the memorandum, adding the assistance would provide relief to one million rubber growers in the state.

Mani also stated the recent decision of the Centre to keep Kerala out of rubber subsidy scheme had dealt a huge blow to farmers in the state and has demanded its reconsideration. He said the decision had come at a time when farmers in the state were pressing for the enhancement of rubber subsidy and were reeling under a sharp fall in rubber price from Rs 240 to Rs 120 per kg.

He said the subsidy for rubber re-plantation should be raised to Rs 50,000 each hectare from the existing Rs 25,000.

Mani further sought appointment of a full-time chairman for the Rubber Board. Presently, Spices Board chairman A Jayathilak is holding the additional charge of the Board.

Meanwhile, Union commerce minister Nirmala Seetharaman said Kerala would not be excluded from the subsidy scheme. She said the the ministry would reconsider the decision.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Tue, June 16 2015. 20:42 IST