Kerala

Meenachil rubber society set to bounce back

Meenachil Rubber Marketing and Processing Cooperative Society Limited (MRMPCS), a flagship cooperative concern that had served as the backbone of Kerala’s latex-based economy for nearly five decades, finally looks set for revival.

As part of the plans to bring the 58-year-old organisation back into its old glory, meetings of the society’s investors and employees will be held in Keezhthadiyur here on Friday. The meetings, according to sources, will chart out the future course of action for the factory units under the society, which have been lying defunct for over five years now.

Funds

A consortium of over 20 primary cooperative societies from Meenachil taluk, with the Keezhthadiyur cooperative society as the lead bank, will be financing the revival plan.

“The consortium will raise ₹4 crore while the society is due to receive ₹2.90 crore and interest from the Kerala State Rubber Cooperative Ltd. (Rubco). Using the amount, a part of the deposits due will be paid after agreeing for a moratorium on the remaining payments for at least 18 months,” said Mani C. Kappen, MLA. Similarly, a plan for the 200-odd employees under the society will be worked out after paying a part of their salary dues. The remaining amount will be set aside for latex collection from farmers.

“This is an organisation which used to rake in profits even when the price of raw rubber stood at ₹225. Now with the price of raw material hovering around ₹110 and the price of finished products remaining on the higher side, this is the right time for the society to regain its lost glory,” the MLA said.

Glove-making unit

Besides reopening the factories, plans are also afoot to open another unit manufacturing surgical gloves in the next phase, official sources said. A detailed project report for the unit is being prepared by experts from the Rubber Board, Kottayam.

Founded in March 1962, the Meenachil society comprises a centrifugal latex factory, crumb rubber factory, besides Neethi medical stores and a couple of supermarkets.

As per estimates, over 14% of the total rubber produced in the country was from the area of operation of the society that has more than 12,000 members. In its prime, the society had operated more than 60 centres to collect natural rubber and recorded an annual turnover of up to ₹50 crore.

The cumulative losses by the society, however, rose to ₹155 crore in 2013-14. In June last year, the State cooperative department slapped a fine of ₹6 crore to the then director board of the society for committing the losses.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2020 6:38:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/meenachil-rubber-society-set-to-bounce-back/article32287169.ece

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