India’s Union Minister of State for Tourism K.J. Alphons has announced that the Central government will soon come out with a new Rubber Policy which will ensure remunerative prices for natural rubber.
Speaking to media persons on the sidelines of an interactive session with stakeholders at the Indian Rubber Research Institute (IRRI), Puthuppally, Mr. Alphons said all issues, including minimum support price for natural rubber, possibility of introducing Minimum Import Price for the produce, and concerns over introduction of BIS for cup lump as a precursor to its import, would be looked into before formulating the policy.
Putting the responsibility for the present crisis on the previous UPA government which had concluded the WTO negotiations, the Minister said it was the UPA government that agreed to list natural rubber as an industrial raw material instead of as an agriculture product. “This was against the fact that cotton was listed as an agriculture product,” he said.
He said this was the second round of talks and in the third and final round, Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu would come to Kottayam and interact with the stakeholders before giving final touches to the proposed Rubber Policy. “The Minister will visit Kottayam at the earliest. Parliament session is expected to begin in March, so most probably it will be after the conclusion of the session,” he said.
Speaking at the interactive session, Jose K. Mani, MP, called for steps to ensure a minimum support price of 200 for natural rubber.
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