Kerala: Rubber Board announces incentive of Rs 5 per kg for rubber sheet exports

KOTTAYAM: A day before the announcement of the 2024 general elections, the Rubber Board here on Friday announced an incentive of Rs 5 per kg for the export of rubber sheets. The Executive Director of the Rubber Board, M Vasanthagesan, said the incentive aims to stabilise domestic prices and boost export opportunities.

“An incentive of Rs 5 per kg for a short time for the scheme period for at least a quarter, up to June 2024, was announced to motivate the exporters. This is to set the domestic market right, in tune with the international market,” Vasanthagesan said.

According to sources within the Rubber Board, this initiative is expected to benefit farmers significantly, as the policy is anticipated to drive up the prices of natural rubber by promoting exports of the product.

The announcement coincides with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Pathanamthitta, a rubber belt, where he attacked the present LDF and previous UDF governments, accusing them of turning a blind eye to the struggles of rubber planters.
Vasanthagesan said the incentive is only for the export of Ribbed Smoked Sheets (RSS) of four and above grades as “quality also matters”. “The rubber board will inspect, test and certify so that the exporters can brand it under Indian Natural Rubber (INR),” he said. Vasanthagesan also said that there is a maximum cap of Rs two lakh per exporter. The move is seen as an effort by the BJP to woo votes of the rubber growers in Central Kerala who had been protesting against the low prices for their produce. A senior Bishop of the influential Syro-Malabar Catholic Church had recently created ripples in the political waters of Kerala by saying that if the Centre promised to increase the price of rubber procurement to Rs 300 per kilogram, it would address BJP’s dearth of an MP from the southern state. Thalassery Archbishop Mar Joseph Pamplany had made the announcement at a farmers’ rally in Kannur last year.


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