Rubber Mark, the apex federation of primary cooperative rubber marketing societies, has suggested setting up of a ₹1,000 crore price stabilisation fund to compensate the loss to farmers due to price fall.

It is pointed out that the price of natural rubber has come down in the range of ₹121-123 per kg which is the lowest in the last five years thereby giving lot of hardships to growers.

The Federation in a memorandum submitted to the visiting Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Nirmala Sitharaman requested suspension of rubber imports during September to January, the peak season of production. It also demanded to enhance the import duty on rubber for both tyre and non tyre sectors to at least 30 per cent.

According to S. Ratnakumaran, Managing Director, Rubber Mark, the total production during 2013-14 was 8,44,000 tonnes and import was 3,25,190 tonnes totalling 11,69,190 tonnes. But the consumption during the period was only 9,81,520 tonnes. Hence there was a surplus of 1,87,670 tonnes. This shows that there is no control over imports matching with the consumption, he said.

Rubber Mark urged the government to include in the forthcoming National Rubber Policy a ₹200 crore Marketing Revolving Fund for the federation to exclusively utilise as payment cost for rubber procured from cooperative marketing societies.

This has been necessitated following the wiping off the working capital on account of the heavy loss incurred through rubber procurement. The Federation is having 38 member societies and more than 500 primary credit cooperatives as dealers.

In view of the policy announced by the Centre for making indigenous products, the memorandum also suggested the government to set up joint venture industries for rubber based products with the support of cooperatives involved in rubber industry for value addition.

There was also a request to declare Rubber Mark as a nodal agency for procuring rubber and to route all funds from the Centre for various schemes connected with the sector. During 2002-03, the Federation had procured and exported 20,000 tonnes as directed by the Commerce and Industries Ministry.

(This article was published on September 28, 2014)