Centre to kick-start open house meetings before reconstitution of Rubber Board


Pressing ahead with its plans to reconstitute the Rubber Board, the Union government is now taking to the public its revised draft Rubber (Promotion and Development ) Bill, 2023.

On a direction by the government, the Rubber Board is scheduled to hold three open house sessions , one each at Kottayam, Marthanadam in Tamil Nadu and Mangaluru in Karnataka, to discuss the revised draft. The session, which will take off with the meeting in Kottayam on December 11, looks to engage stake holders of the country’s rubber sector in different strata – from growers to dealers and manufacturers.

An earlier Bill introduced by the Union Government—Rubber (Promotion and Development) Bill, 2022, which sought to repeal the Rubber Act of 1947—had ignited widespread protests among rubber farmers. Following this, the government came up with a fresh draft altogether and revised it further to accommodate some of the suggestions raised during a consultation meeting held in July this year.

The revised draft, for instance, stipulates steps `either by itself or through accredited agencies to ensure standards for quality, marking, labelling and packing for rubber produced or processed in, exported from or imported into India’. It, however, ignored a demand by the growers to keep a tab on the import of both compound and synthetic rubber.

“If it is for the protection of growers, it should also include the provision to ensure a minimum price for rubber based on the cost of production. It also seeks to take away the autonomy of the Rubber Board. Clarification is also required with regard to the provision to bill Crude Rubber, which may led to import of cup lump,” noted Babu Joseph, general secretary of the National Federation of Rubber Producers Societies (NFRPS).

As per the revised draft, the newly constituted Rubber Board will have a maximum of 31 members while the post of the Executive Director will be replaced with a Chief Executive Officer, who will also act as member-secretary of the board.

The representation of Kerala, the single largest rubber-producing State in the country, will come down from eight to six on the reconstituted board.


Mohd Aman

Editor in Chief Approved by Indian Government

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