UPASI urges for stagnant import duty on rubber

UPASI urges for stagnant import duty on rubber

 The United Planters’ Association of Southern India (UPASI) President Vinod Sivappa on Thursday stated that there should not be any reduction in import duty of natural rubber, which is currently at 25%.

This is with reference to the recent reports stating that tyre manufacturers were seeking import duty reduction for Natural Rubber (NR).

“Any such move will be detrimental to the interest of 1.2 million growers dependent on this agro industry and tantamount to fixing the final nail in the coffin,” he added.

Natural Rubber (dry form) was the only plantation commodity wherein the bound rate was fixed at a very low level of 25%. The base duty of dry forms of NR in 1986 under the WTO framework was 85% (above the threshold level of 40%), and hence, should have been bound at 40% according to the norms.

The fixation of lower bound rates for the dominant dry forms of NR thus was not only regressive, but also an explicit violation of the standard norms fixed by the government.

“That be as it may, there is no reason whatsoever to reduce the import duty especially given the surge in imports of natural rubber into India in the last few years, with each year reporting new highs. For instance, the import of natural rubber in 2008-09, was 77,762 tonnes which had increased manifold and reached 4,58,374 tonnes in 2015-16,” he added. During the current year up to December 2016, the import was again higher by 1.34 thousand tonnes. A huge surge in imports had been a major factor for the crisis faced by the growers.a

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