KC(M) ups the ante ahead of PM’s visit

Published - April 22, 2023 10:51 pm IST - KOTTAYAM

Amidst active attempts by the Bharatiya Janata Party to reach out to rubber farmers by squarely blaming the State government for a crisis in the sector, the Kerala Congress (M) has now sought to counter the move by asking the Union government to raise the floor price of rubber to ₹250 per kg.

In a statement, KC(M) chairman Jose K. Mani has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce the ₹250 per kg as the support price during his visit to Kerala, a State that accounts for the bulk of natural rubber production in India.

“The Union government should come up with a direct procurement and redistribution system for the entire natural rubber produced in the country. The tyre industry and other manufacturers should be allowed to import rubber and synthetic rubber only after buying this stock with the Union government,” Mr. Mani said.

“Although north Indian cash crops such as jute and cotton have been included on the list of agricultural crops, the Union government has ignored rubber despite a recommendation in this regard by a task force appointed by it. This has led to denial of several benefits to the farmers,” he said.

“If the Union government contributes only a half of ₹2,000 crore it receives as the import duty of rubber, the support price of rubber can be raised to ₹250 per kg by adding it up with the subsidy announced by the Kerala government. The Prime Minister can easily do this to help the rubber farmers of Kerala if he is ready to set aside his political ambitions to help the farmers,” Mr. Mani said.

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