IDUKKI:Welcoming the State government’s Project assuring of a price of Rs 150 per kg to eligible rubber farmers, the Karshaka Union (M) observed that the move would definitely help solve the problem of falling rubber prices to an extent.
Union state president Mathew Stephen, however, maintained that the project was just a straw to clutch at for struggling rubber farmers. They should be offered at least Rs 200 per kg, he added, while talking to mediapersons in Thodupuzha on Saturday.
Since the state government is faced with a financial crunch, the Central government, which had announced a Rs 600 crore special package to help the sugarcane ryots, should grant at least Rs 1,000 crore as special package to rubber farmers in order to carry out the programme, the former MLA said.
If the price of rubber continued to decline at the present rate, India would be forced to import rubber from other countries in 25 years, he said, adding that the country would have to spend crores of rupees for rubber import just as it is doing for petroleum products.
Rubber being a crop, coming under direct control of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the onus is on the Central government to take measures to stabilise its price, Mathew said, and urged the Centre to immediately spend Rs 1,000 crore from the price stabilisation fund.