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Kerala seeks Rs 500 cr aid from centre for rubber procurement (17-06-2015)

 

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

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 assistance for struggling natural rubber farmers through the price support subsidy scheme. State Finance Minister K M Mani, who met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi, submitted a memorandum in this regard. The state government plans to procure 50,000 tonnes of rubber at a price of Rs 150/kg and had earmarked Rs 300 crore in its last budget, presented on March 13.

"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 for each kilogramme produced by them, Mani said. The current price for benchmark RSS-4 grade is Rs 131/Kg.

Stating that the state government intends to set up a fund not exceeding Rs 500 crore from its budgetary provision for the purpose, Mani said that this amount will be sufficient only to extend support for purchase of 25% of the rubber produced in the state.

"I request the Government of India to extend a support of Rs 500 crore from the Price Stabilisation Fund to supplement the resources of the state," Mani said in the memorandum, adding that the assistance would provide relief to one million  rubber growers, who are living in distressed conditions now.


Mani also stated that the recent decision of the Centre to keep Kerala out of Rubber Subsidy Scheme has been a big blow to farmers in the state and demanded reconsideration of the decision. He said the decision had come at a time when farmers were pressing for enhancement of rubber subsidy and were reeling under a sharp fall in rubber price from Rs 240 to Rs 120 per kg. He said that the subsidy for re-planting should be raised to Rs50,000/ha from Rs 25,000.

Mani further sought appointment of a full time Chairman for the Rubber Board at the earliest. Now Spices Board chairman, A Jayathilak is holding additional charge of Rubber Board.

Meanwhile, Commerce Minister Nirmala Seetharaman said that Kerala would not be evaded from the subsidy scheme. She said that the decision of the ministry will be re-considered.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/markets/kerala-seeks-rs-500-cr-aid-from-center-for-rubber-procurement-115061600495_1.html

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