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India: Agri experts call for income security, price support for farmers
(Last Updated: 06 Dec 2017)



Agri experts call for income security, price support for farmers


Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during a pre-Budget meeting with farm sector representatives and experts on Tuesday
PTIFinance Minister Arun Jaitley during a pre-Budget meeting with farm sector representatives and experts on Tuesday

Meet Jaitley for pre-Budget discussion

Experts from the agriculture sector have sought measures to offset the impact of inflation on crops and income security for farmers and also debated the farm loan waiver at a pre-Budget meeting with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday.

This was the first such meeting and the Finance Minister will meet more sectoral groups this week to get their proposals for the Union Budget 2018-19, which is likely on February 1.

As the farm sector provides employment to nearly half of the country’s total workforce, its prospects will play a crucial role in the upcoming Assembly elections as well as the 2019 general elections.

Pointing out that the median income of farmers in 2012 was just ₹1,600 per month, B Dasaratha Rami Reddy, Secretary General of the Consortium of Indian Farmers Association, said, “The farming community of India demands an Income Security Act for farmers as well as tenant and farm labour.”

Ashok Gulati, former Chairman of the Commission of Agricultural Costs and Prices, said that structural reforms in agriculture should be addressed rather than farm loan waivers.

He also called for buffer stocking of those commodities whose prices are trading below their minimum support price to control food inflation.

“In the last three years agricultural growth has fallen below 3 per cent. Some commodity prices have gone below minimum selling price,” he said.

Ajay Vir Jakhar, Chairman, Bharat Krishak Samaj, said that a minimum price must be set for all crops such as onions and tomatoes where the Central government intervenes to reduce prices of food.

“Make budgetary allocations to set up the ‘Farmers’ Income Commission’ for securing ‘income security’ on the lines of the Seventh Pay Commission,” he said.

Underlining the Prime Minister’s plan to double farmers’ income in the next five years, Y Sivaji, an agriculture expert and a former Member of Parliament, said the government should announce MSPs for more agricultural products and they should be linked to the inflation in input costs.

He also called for a “national policy” on loan waivers to farmers and providing them social security benefits like pension.

Experts also demanded removal of the Essential Commodities Act, including all agriculture inputs and equipment under zero per cent under the Goods and Services Tax and effective implementation of crop insurance and irrigation projects.

Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia, Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian, Expenditure Secretary AN Jha and Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar also attended the meeting.


 (To be published In the Gazette of India Extraordinary Part-II Section-3, Sub-Section (ii)) Government of India Ministry of Commerce and Industry Department of Commerce Directorate General of Foreign Trade Notification No. 33 /2015-2020 New Delhi, Dated the 21st January, 2016 Graham Replica Watches Subject: Amendment in Paragraph 4.18 of the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20. S.O. (E) In exercise of powers conferred by Section 5 of the Foreign Trade (Development & Regulation) Act, 1992 (No.22 of 1992) read with Para 1.02 of the Foreign Trade Policy, 2015-2020, the Central Government hereby amends the following provisions of FTP 2015- 20:- 2.

The following sub paragraph is inserted in para 4.18 of FTP 2015-2020 : 4.18 Importability / Exportability of items that are Prohibited / Restricted / STE (vi) Import of Natural Rubber will not be allowed during the period 21st January 2016 to 31st March 2016 under Advance Authorisations to be issued or revalidated on or after 21st January, 2016. 3. Effect of this Notification: Facility for import of Natural Rubber under Advance Authorisations issued or revalidated on or after 21.01.2016 will not available with immediate effect up to 31.03.2016. (Anup Wadhawan) Director General of Foreign Trade E-mail: (Issued from F. No. 01/94/180/352/AM13/PC-4)



(To be published in the Gazette of India Extraordinary Part-I, Section-I)

Government of India Ministry of Commerce and Industry Department of Commerce Directorate General of Foreign Trade

Public Notice No. 81 (RE-2013)/2009-2014 New Delhi, Dated the 09th January, 2015

Sub: Amendment in Appendix – 30 A relating to Export Obligation Period under Advance Authorization/DFIA Schemes.

In exercise of powers conferred under Para 2.4 of the Foreign Trade Policy, 2009-14, the Director General of Foreign Trade hereby makes the following amendments in the Appendix 30A of the Handbook of Procedures (Vol.1), 2009- 14:- 2.

Following Entry is added in the table of Appendix 30A related to “Export Obligation Period for specified inputs” with immediate effect:-

Sl. No. Import Item(s) Export Obligation Period from the date of clearance of each import consignment by Customs authority 7) Natural Rubber 6 months 3.

Effect of this Public Notice: Export obligation period has been reduced to six months from the date of clearance of each consignment by customs authority, wherever Natural Rubber is allowed as an input under Advance Authorisation / DFIA Schemes. (Pravir Kumar) Director General of Foreign Trade E-mail: (Issued from F. No. 01/94/180/352/AM13/PC-4)


New formula to help rubber growers in Kerala

The Kerala government today approved a  formula to help rubber farmers after holding discussions omega replica watches with 12  tyre manufacturing companies in the country.
Talking to reporters after cabinet meeting, Chief Minister  Oommen Chandy said as per the formula, companies would purchase  natural rubber from dealers and agents at a price fixed by  Rubber Board considering the international price of natural  rubber plus 20 per cent customs duty and five per cent purchase  tax.
State Chief Secretary Bharat Bhushan and Rubber Board  Chairman Jayathilak would monitor the progress of the scheme, he  said.
Besides Chandy, Fiance Minister K M Mani and Industries  Minster P K Kunhalikuty were among those attended the meeting.
 Meeting with tyre manufactures were called in the wake of  serious financial crisis being faced by rubber farmers in the  state due to sharp fall in the price of natural rubber.






Tyre cos fall on decision to buy rubber at 25% higher price


Shares of tyre companies like  ,  Ceat and   are under pressure as they have agreed to procure rubber from the domestic market at 25 percent higher price over international price to aid the fund-staved sector in Kerala. Analyst say margin expansion for tyre companies will be capped.

According to an agreement, worked out in an meeting with Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy, tyre companies will buy rubber from local market with 20 percent customs duty and 5 percent purchase tax, over the international price from local dealers.

The government will refund 50 percent of the purchase tax to the companies while the rest will also be disbursed as refund claim on collected from the buyers.

The scheme is effective till March 31, 2015. Decline in has been a grave concern for the state and a further fall to 115 per kg led to a crisis call.  In 2009, rubber price was at 245 a kg.




India’s tyre makers meet government to talk rubber prices


Regional government ministers in India met with tyre makers on 18 December to discuss rubber prices. Chief minister of the state of Kerala, Oomen Chandy has chaired a meeting which proposed a minimum guaranteed price for rubber growers – a price of around 125 to 130 (£1.25 to £1.30) per kilogramme was suggested. In recent times the price paid to Indian rubber growers has dipped as low as 90 per kilogramme, a price considered unsustainable.

Meeting attendees included Raghupathi Singhania (JK Tyre), Ashwani Maheswari, (Birla ), Anant Goenka (CEAT), K M Mammen, (), Rajeev Anand ( India), Ajay Sevekari (Bridgestone India), P Vijayaraghavan, (TVS Srichakra) and Benoit Henry (Continental India).


Consumption of natural rubber is on the way up in India. The Indian government’s Rubber Board reported that in November, consumption rose almost 12 per cent year-on-year to 85,000 tonnes. Import tonnage grew at an even faster rate, jumping 19 per cent year-on-year to 33,156 tonnes. Domestic production, on the other hand, fell by around a quarter, to 64,000 tonnes, as falling prices prompted some farmers to skip tapping.





Rubber growers abandon plantations, output falls 25% in November


January is the peak season for production in , but this time monthly output in November was badly hit in the aftermath of a deep crisis in the market.

As the local market recorded only 114 for a kg of RSS-4 grade rubber, there is 25% fall in production in November, according to estimates by Rubber Board.

The production was just 6,400 tones against 85,300 tones in the same month of 2013. If the trend continued, India will see steep fall in production during 2014-15, creating fresh crisis in the supply side.

Total yearly output may fall 10-12 % in full year and may initiate a multiplier effect in the market as tyre majors will depend more on import as overseas markets are cheaper.

Experts say this could deepen the crisis further in the local market as there would be steep fall in prices and may lead to growers abandoning rubber plantations.

Benny Kuriakose, a local farmer told Business Standard that a major chunk of growers, mainly small and medium holders, had stopped tapping for the past couple of years and plan to dismantle the plantations.

“The average daily expense comes to the tune of Rs 1,200 -1,500 per acre and wages and earnings are too low. So it is advisable not to tap the plantations that means sharp fall in production for the last six months.”

 He added, “The crisis might intensify further as government’s initiatives like procurement have failed miserably. Farmers have no way but to abandon the farms.”

To cap the climax consumption increased 12% in November at 85,000 tones and import had a jump of 19 % at 33,156 tones. This creates a paradox in natural as the dependence on import will be a critical factor for the rubber based industries in India in future. Overall in April – November period import increased 15 % at 298,490 tones.

As the growers abandon plantations India will have to depend on South East for rubber. This, in long run, will affect the supply side and the prices as India will turn out to be a net importer of rubber. So the current situation endangers not only the very existence of one million plus farmers, but the availability of rubber in India in the future.

- Business Standard




In a tit-for-tat, rubber growers plan to import tyres

V Sajeev Kumar

Comment   ·   print   ·   T+  

Rubber growers are contemplating to boycott products of domestic tyre companies and instead go for cheaper import tyres, the same way by which the industry imports raw materials.

A move in this direction is being planned in the wake of continuous fall in prices and growers, therefore, urged the industry to purchase rubber from the domestic market, Sibi J Monippally, President of the Indian Rubber Growers Association (IRGA), said.

Riding on cheap rubber imports, all tyre companies have been generating profits in each quarter. It is time that these companies introspect and came forward to support growers by buying from the domestic market at the landed cost of imported rubber, he added.

Quoting the bill of entry of imports, he pointed out that the landed cost of imported rubber is in the range of ₹135/140 per kg, whereas the domestic prices are ruling at ₹115.

At a time when the international prices were higher than domestic prices, growers agreed to lower the import duty to help the industry to sustain and thrive. Today, the growing community is getting completely disillusioned by price decline and are even thinking of stopping production or moving out of the rubber value chain, he said.

The price, he said, fall may also affect the Centre’s plan to extend rubber cultivation for the development of several Naxal-affected areas.

The growers association comprising UPASI, APK, IRGA, etc have filed a petition under the Provisions of Safeguard before the Directorate of Safeguards, New Delhi to protect the domestic rubber growers from un-controlled and unrestricted imports, which is hitting hard the domestic growing sector.

The Association urged the government to immediately increase the import duty to 25 per cent as an emergency measure. The Kerala government should also facilitate more uptake of rubber from the State to improve prices by way of tax concessions and explore the possibility of rubberisation of 20 per cent of roads every year.

(This article was published on December 15, 2014)



‘Support rubber growers by way of direct subsidises’

V Sajeev Kumar

Comment   ·   print   ·   T+  
Mohinder Gupta, President, All India Rubber Industries Association
Mohinder Gupta, President, All India Rubber Industries Association

No other country has penalised consumers by hiking duties or imposing restrictions

Ever since prices of natural rubber started falling, rubber producers have been demanding curbs on import.

The Government, too, went ahead and increased the import duty by ₹10 per kg.

Demand from growers for further hike in import duties continues.

As the Government gears up for a National Rubber Policy, Mohinder Gupta, President, All India Rubber Industries Association (AIRIA), speaks to BusinessLine on the vexed issue of rubber imports. Edited excerpts:

How do you view the demand to curb rubber imports?


Any decision on rubber imports should be an outcome of a well thought-out policy rather than a knee-jerk reaction.

The gap between rubber production and consumption in India is widening.

Imports are inevitable to sustain rubber products’ manufacturing in the country.

Yet, import duties on rubber in India are one of the highest in the world. The industry is, in fact, suffering from inverted duty.

Despite domestic deficit, rubber is subjected to 20 per cent duty while finished rubber goods can be imported at less than half of that duty.

Any further curbs on import of rubber will make Indian manufacturing highly uncompetitive.

The National Rubber Policy is in the offing and we are hopeful it will take a holistic view of the rubber sector.

Don’t you think the industry needs to take into account the plight of rubber growers as well?


Against the popular perception, we are all for a vibrant plantation sector and would welcome any move by the Government to support the planters.

However, it should not be at the cost of the manufacturing sector.

In the global market, we are in competition with China and other rubber products manufacturing countries.

While they are able to access raw material cheaply, we are being subjected to barriers such as high import duties.

That makes it an uneven playing field for us and Indian industry’s competitiveness is being affected.

On the allegation that rubber prices have fallen due to imports?


The fall in prices is linked to softening of commodities globally. However, Indian rubber prices have continued to rule higher than international prices.

In each of the first seven months of current fiscal, the average price of domestic rubber (RSS 4) was higher than comparable prices in Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.

Growers believe that with softening of rubber prices, industry is making profits at their cost?


The industry has witnessed a harrowing phase following spiralling rise in rubber prices in the not-so-distant past. As SMEs operate on a thin margin, a sudden and unprecedented rise in rubber prices hurt the industry gravely.

Now that rubber prices have come down from their peak levels, there is no room for complacency.

The threat of cheaper import of finished rubber products is growing. India’s trade deficit in rubber products (non-tyre) with some of the key trading partners has gone up substantially.

As a matter of fact, many of the rubber producing countries are going up the value chain by producing and exporting rubber products instead of raw material.

Will the Government’s plan to hike import duty on block rubber from 20 per cent to 25 per cent help lift the rubber price?


Any increase in customs duty on block rubber will be a retrograde step having far-reaching adverse and irreversible consequences for rubber consumers.

The Kerala government is already charging five per cent Purchase Tax on rubber and block rubber.

If the Union and Kerala State governments wish to support growers, it should be done directly by way of a subsidy to them as has been done by other major rubber producing countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka. 

No other country has penalised or affected their respective rubber consuming interests by hiking duties or imposing any other restrictions.

What is your view on Indian block rubber industry?


The block rubber industry has got the capacity to fulfil the demand for block rubber in India.

However, severe shortage of good quality raw material is preventing the industry from making the required quantity.

During the current year more than 28 factories are lying closed for want of raw material and factories which are continuing to produce are able to utilise not more than 40 per cent of their capacity.

Block rubber is preferred over sheet rubber by producers and consumers.

However, the Centre has disallowed the block rubber industry from importing its raw material.

The Indian Block Rubber industry which was developed by the Rubber Board is coming to a slow but sure end.

(This article was published on December 9, 2014)





India: Expert Group on Rubber Data Set Up


KOCHI: The prolonged conflict between growers and tyre manufactures on the actual production and consumption figures has forced  the to set up an expert group to address the issue.

The members of the group will be Rubber Board Chairman, representatives from Indian Statistical Institute, Indian Council of Agricultural Research and Kerala Agricultural University. The group will strive to formulate a new methodology to take actual stock of the rubber production in the country. The trail estimation will begin by January.

Various rubber industry forums in the country recently alleged that the stocks at the end of August 2014, released by the Rubber Board, show a discrepancy of around one lakh tonnes.

“The Rubber Board has formed an expert group on rubber statistics as we had received complaints from various quarters about actual production and consumption figures. The group was formed last month and we are evaluating the present situation. Also we are examining the methods adopted by other nations to take stock of the actual scenario in the sector. We will look into options such as a complete revamp of the present method including increasing the sample size,” Rubber Board Chairman A Jayathilak told Express.

According to the industry, based on the opening stock of natural rubber in and factoring in the key parameters of production, consumption, import and export, the closing stock ought to have been 2.85 lakh tonnes at the end of Aug this year.  However, the stock figures published by the Board is 1.85 lakh tonnes.  In effect, a whopping one lakh MT has been ‘adjusted’ without any explanation.

“Since government policy is determined by import (as well as the stocks in the country), errors in the data will lead to flawed assumption and hence erroneous outcomes,” said Mohinder Gupta, President, All India Association ().





Kerala rubber estates badly in need of help: Governor P Sathasivam

Kerala rubber estates badly in need of help: Governor P Sathasivam

Kerala Governor P Sathasivam has said litigations involving management and labour in plantations have led to wastage of time and money.

KOCHI: The crisis faced by the rubber plantations in Kerala should be addressed on a war footing as the sector contributes around Rs 18,000 crore to the state’s , KeralaGovernor P Sathasivam has said.

Voicing concern at the difficulties faced by the due to fluctuating prices, the governor said the climatic changes and the shortage of new tracks for expansion have adversely affected plantations.

Speaking at the platinum jubilee conference of the Association of Planters of Kerala () in Kochi on Thursday, Sathasivam said litigations involving management and labour in plantations have led to wastage of time and money.

“As far as possible should be settled through forums like Lok Adalats and other conciliation committees instead of taking up to the SC,” said Sathasivam, adding that the money the aggrieved party gets may make little difference ultimately as may take years to settle the disputes in courts.

Percy Siganporia, chairman of Kanan Devan Hill Plantations, called for speedy implementation of the 5 per cent leeway allowed to plantations in the state for diversification and inter-cropping to make plan tations viable. APK chairman Gilbert D’souza said the plantation sector has plunged into a crisis due to lower prices stemming from oversupply in the global market. Prices of rubber and tea have plummeted in the last few months.

D’souza said the situation in the state will not improve without the cooperation of the labour and the government.

- Times




India Rubber farmers reluctant to resume tapping

19 Nov 2014

KOCHI,(): Lack of demand is sapping India rubber prices. The chief reason for this is the disparity between the domestic and international markets and the absence of genuine buyers.

RSS 4 weakened further to Rs.116 (117) a kg, according to traders. The grade declined to Rs 117 (117.50) and Rs 114 (114.50) a kg respectively as quoted by the and dealers. The trend was mixed.

Currently it is early days of the peak production season but growers were reluctant to resume .

Farmers are seen switching to more lucrative crops like nutmeg and cocoa. Adding more pressure to their woes the slump in crude oil prices has exerted negative impact on the industry.

As is made from petroleum products, cheaper crude prices have a direct impact on its prices. When buyers opt for cheaper , demand for will be hurt.

In India, rubber prices have fallen by 24% in the last 12 months to 118 rupees per kilogram. The drop in prices has prompted farmers to abandon tapping and switch to other commodities.

India is the world’s fifth largest producer of rubber. The state-run Rubber Board has said the country’s October natural rubber imports increased 27.7 per cent from a year ago to 36,865 tonnes.

The surge in imports is mainly as a result of increased overseas purchases made by tyre makers due to a drop in domestic production. Higher imports are the main reason that hurts the prospects of the farmers.

- Commodity Online




India: National rubber policy to tackle falling demand


A special sub-committee of the government is expected to meet this week to come up with a national rubber policy. The government panel is also likely to formulate measures aimed at boosting domestic demand for rubber and somehow protect farmers from the steep fall in prices. This particularly assumes significance as coincides with the peak season for rubber, which is November-January. Analysts feel that rubber prices in the country would remain subdued for the simple reason that tyre manufacturers have already procured and created a large stock for their requirements during the off season. And that was quite understandable as international prices were much lower — and who would not have taken advantage of that?

The other reason why imports were higher was the widening gap between domestic demand and supply which was caused by a slowdown in rubber output. Kerala, which accounts for more than 90 per cent of the country’s output received 6 per cent more rainfall than normal during the June-September monsoon season.

This slide in production coincided with optimism and positive sentiments in the Indian automobile sector. If one goes by what the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam) projected, car sales in the country would go up between 5 and 10 per cent this fiscal year. Mind you, tyre companies are the biggest consumers of natural rubber. As a result, tyre firms had to procure their requirements by way of imports. This was reflected in the fact that natural rubber imports in the first six months of the current fiscal year jumped nearly a quarter from a year before to 225,652 tonne. Industry analysts had initially thought that imports could further surge to a record 400,000-tonne mark in FY15, but now they believe that this could go beyond that.

And that’s not without reason. According to the state-run , India’s natural dropped 7.6 per cent to 844,000 tonne in the 2013-14 crop year which ended last March. In the first half of the year that started in , the country’s output fell 2.3 per cent from a year ago to 337,000 tonne, while consumption rose by 3.6 per cent to 509,085 tonne. The rubber board might be forced to revise down an earlier forecast that put production at 885,000 tonne this year. Rubber board officials said that Indian natural rubber output is likely to drop over 10 per cent in FY15 from the previous crop year, hit by heavy rain in key growing regions and as farmers suspend tapping due to lower prices.

When it comes to prices, natural rubber prices have steadily drifted lower this year, continuing a trend that started three years ago. Prices have fallen by as much as 70 per cent from the peak seen in February 2011. Rubber prices are at their lowest in more than five years and adding to the farmers’ woes is lower demand from due to slowing economic growth there. Analysts point out that a subdued European growth forecast and fall in crude prices, which are having an impact on synthetic price too, would mean rubber price would remain lower in the near future.

The proposed new national rubber policy is expected to aim at promoting smaller rubber-based product manufacturers, besides helping them in exports by giving proper incentives, as long-term measures. There are at least 50,000 small rubber-based product manufacturers in India. There are other moves also, which have already been initiated. For instance, the Kerala government has decided to use more rubberised bitumen for construction of new roads and maintenance of existing ones, which in turn promises to create additional demand for natural rubber within the state.




India: Procurement of rubber begins


The Kerala State Co-operative Marketing Federation Limited has begun procuring 4 and 5 grade rubber directly from farmers by providing Rs. 5 per kg more than the rates fixed by , under the Kerala Government’s rubber procurement scheme.

The federation is procuring rubber through its branches and rubber marketing cooperatives. Farmers have to produce either their Rubber Board registration number, tax receipt or certificate given by agriculture office to avail of this facility, said a press release.

- The Hindu




Rubber cultivation in northeast vital to meet demand


Agartala, Oct 30 (IANS) The has decided to expand cultivation of rubber in non-traditional areas of northeastern region to meet the increasing demand, an official said Thursday.

“The cultivation of rubber in Kerala is about to saturate. To meet the rising demand of rubber and overcome shortage, is important to increase its cultivation in non-traditional areas,” Rubber Board chairman A. Jayathilak told reporters here.

He said: “Because of its (rubber) growing demand, its productivity and areas under cultivation must be increased. Non-traditional areas are the only alternative for this.”

Jayathilak, who came here to attend the golden jubilee celebrations of rubber plantation in Tripura, said the board has decided to cultivate rubber on 141,000 hectares of land in northeast.

About 103,500 hectares of land is under rubber cultivation in northeastern states including Tripura, Assam, Meghalaya and Nagaland, producing 46,000 tonnes of rubber annually.

The Kottayam-based of (RRII) has also identified 450,000 hectares of land suitable for its cultivation in the northeast.

India has 600,000 hectares of land under rubber plantations producing about 750,000 tonnes of rubber annually.

Tripura is the second largest rubber producer in the country after Kerala with 72,000 hectares of land under plantation, producing 40,000 tonnes of rubber annually. The state’s annual turnover from rubber cultivation is about Rs.480 crore

India’s second park has come up in Bodhungnagar in Tripura to boost the polymer industry.

The park, a joint venture between the Tripura Industrial Development Corporation and the Rubber Board, is the second of its kind in the country after the rubber park in Irapuram, Kerala.

To increase livelihood of poor people and small land holders, rubber can be cultivated with tea, pineapple, banana and other crops, said the chairman.

“The board has been persuading industrialists and to set up rubber-based industries in the northeast,” he said, adding despite reduction of prices of rubber in the international market there is no effect on rubber cultivation in India.

RRII director James Jacob said the climate in northeast is most suitable for rubber cultivation.

“The RRII has developed exclusive rubber clone suitable for the northeastern region to increase the production and productivity,” Jacob said.





India Rubber price uptrend fails to bring cheers to industry