Amidst complaints of non-availability of rubber by consuming industry and the domestic producers seeking a halt to rubber imports to prevent prices from falling further, the government has decided to set up an expert committee to examine the issues concerning production, development and export of rubber and related products.
The committee, consisting of representative of various stakeholders in the rubber sector, will also recommend an appropriate national policy on rubber which will cover production, consumption and import of all types of rubber, ie, natural rubber (NR), synthetic rubber (SR) and reclaimed rubber (RR), an official release said today.
The committee would be serviced by the Rubber Board and has been advised to submit the draft of National Rubber Policy in an early time frame, say within six months.
Rubber consuming industries have expressed concern over decline in rubber productivity and availability of various forms of rubber for use of the industry in the country. Rubber growers have also agitated on the issue of increased risk to production due to climatic factors and adverse price movements caused by import, the release pointed out.
The committee with the additional secretary (plantations) of the department of commerce as its chairman will consist of the following members:
- Joint secretary, DIPP (to be nominated by DIPP)
- Chairperson of the Rubber Board
- DGFT (representative)/ additional DGFT D K Singh
- Representative of state government of Kerala
- Representative of state government of Tripura
- Representative of development commissioner for small scale industry
- Representative of the ministry of road transport and highway
- Representative of the ministry of DONER
- Representative of department of agriculture and cooperation
- Director (plantations), DoC (member secretary)
- Rubber Board Official (besides chairperson)
- Pulapre Balakrishnan, ex-director, CDS
- Representative of All India Rubber Industries Association
- Representative of Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association
- Two representative of NR growers - nominated by Rubber Board
- Representative of Association of Latex Producers
- Representative of lndia Block Rubber Association
- Representative of FICCI
- Representative of ICC
- Representative of CDS, Trivandrum
- Representative of IIPM, Bangalore
- Director, Indian Rubber Manufactures Research Association (lRMRA)
The committee has been asked to review growth and current status of Indian rubber industry covering natural rubber (NR), synthetic rubber (SR) and reclaimed rubber (RR) and rubber products; Review and assess the demand and supply of all types of rubbers in the country, taking into account the projected demand and export potential of rubber products for the next ten years; Identify key opportunities and critical challenges in the production and marketing of Natural Rubber (NR), Synthetic Rubber(SR) and Reclaimed Rubber(RR) sectors and tyre and non-tyre sectors.
The committee will assess rubber growers' concerns over the stated import of large quantities of natural rubber and resultant impact on domestic prices of rubber; review the current methods of procurement, sale and import of rubber (NR) and suggest appropriate polices and instruments for insulating rubber growers from unforeseen risks in production and adverse price movements; examine policy and programmes for government support to rubber plantations and suggest ways of expanding areas under production particularly in NER and LYVE affected areas, and improving productivity.
Besides, the committee will suggest development and promotion measures necessary for promoting rubber plantation, through integration of rubber production policies and programmes at the state and central level; suggest policies with respect to incentives, taxation, foreign trade licensing and other regulatory measures, with a view to enhance production of NR and competitiveness of rubber industry.
The committee has also been asked to review and suggest appropriate welfare measures for the rubber growers and rubber industry workers.
The expert committee may co-opt and invite other experts and stakeholders to the meeting as and when required.
The committee will submit its report, including the draft of the National Rubber Policy, as early as possible, say, within six months.