The Rubber Act, passed by the Indian Parliament in 1947, which gives special protection to rubber, was later amended to its present form. The Rubber Act was passed by the Indian Parliament in 1947, which provides special protection for rubber, has since come into being.
Two weeks ago, the Union Ministry of Commerce sent a letter to the Rubber Board headquarters in Kottayam asking it to eliminate the Rubber Board itself or merge it with other similar agricultural boards. The letter was received from the Union Ministry of Commerce as to whether there was any conviction in the Central Government's decision to repeal the Indian Rubber Act. The Rubber Board had in a reply to the Union Ministry of Commerce yesterday clarified that such a proposal would destroy the lives of tens of millions of rubber farmers and rubber cultivation in 12 states. Under pressure from the Union Law Ministry and the Cabinet Secretary, the Commerce Ministry is planning to repeal the Rubber Act of 1947.
With the repeal of the Rubber Act, there will be no restrictions or oversight on prices, trade, exports and imports. No special licenses will be required for cultivation, trade and export in the rubber sector. Rubber prices for the day, annual production, import and export rates are not disclosed. Without the Rubber Board, which falls under the purview of the Rubber Act, there will be no research, subsidies, an extension of agriculture and technical assistance in the rubber sector. In case of emergency, there is no possibility of fixing the floor price or support price for rubber. At the Rubber Research Center, cocoa, coffee and spices can now be cultivated and researched. There is a possibility of transferring the employees of the Rubber Board to other agricultural boards or other government departments or even dismissing a section as per law.
The decision to repeal the Rubber Act twice before was taken by the Rubber Board, farmers' organizations and various state governments. Currently, COVID-19 is imposing such a move under the guise of public restraint, making it impossible for the people's representatives in Parliament to protest or approach the Union Ministry. Farmers who plant and produce rubber for subsistence will have the opportunity to sell if the market exists at the prevailing prices. Licensing, export and import are subject to the conditions of the license issued by the Rubber Board in the country. With the abolition of the Rubber Board and public institutions, the future of rubber cultivation itself will be in a state of perpetual darkness.