Due to low prices, increase in imports, and delay in relief from the Kerala government under the Natural Rubber Price Support Scheme, rubber dealers decided to fix the minimum import price of sheet rubber for 160 per kg and impose 25% duty on imported tires. The Indian Rubber Dealers Federation gave a memorandum to Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu in the last fortnight. The Federation wants to take the matter forward, as in recent years the production of rubber has decreased but its price is roaming in the lower range of Rs. 125 per kg.
Federation President Tommy Abraham said that in this regard, the commerce minister can make some announcements in the near future. The dealers also met the Central Minister, Alphons Kannanthanam, who belonged to Rubber District Kottayam in Kerala and informed him about the circumstances. He said, “Our proposal is beneficial for both the farmers and the industry and companies will be forced to buy the tire from the local market. The tire industry will get 25% more duty relief on the imported tire.”
In the previous budget, the government increased the duty on imported truck and bus radials from 10% to 15%. With the rising upturn in the Indian market during the month of January and February, the tire industry was sluggish, with dealers coming into action. He said, “Since the beginning of the sluggish season now that the supply has started to decrease, they are buying our rubber as the imported cost is high.”
Due to the delayed rain season and payment of State Price Support Scheme negative impact imprinted on crop harvest season. Rubber Board executive said that the demand of Rs 150 Crore is pending since July last year. The rubber board has estimated this to be 16% more than the previous fiscal that is approximately 8 lakh tonnes. However, the possibility of completion of this target is not completely visible.