The Indian Rubber Growers Association (IRGA) has urged the Central government to enhance the import duty on used tyres to 20 per cent, at par with the import duty on natural rubber (NR). Currently the duty is 10 per cent.
The association, in a memorandum to the Union minister for commerce, also demanded that the present import duty on NR should be maintained. Futures trading in rubber should not be banned and in order to bail out the struggling small and medium rubber-based units, import duty on cycle tyres must be raised.
Sibi J Monippally, general secretary, IRGA said export of tyres from India had shown a growth of 30 per cent this year. Annual results of all tyre companies disclose an overall growth of 25 per cent in their profits during the last financial year. He cited the example of Apollo Tyres, whose net profit increased to Rs 653 crore.
A major chunk of NR imports (152,000 tonnes) during the last financial year were made without the duty, through the advance license route.
Used tyre imports from China have increased during these years, adversely affecting domestic the tyre industry. The additional import of 45,000 tonnes of used tyre has also adversely affected rubber growers.
There is no rationale in the consuming industry’s demand to reduce import duty of NR and ban futures trading, he said.
Kerala produces 92 per cent of the total 900,000 tonnes of rubber produced in India. Moreover, 1 million people are directly involved in rubber farming and about 6 million people are indirectly associated with this business.
The association pointed out that there is no imbalance in the production and consumption of rubber in India as cited by the rubber-based industries recently.
Kerala’s economy actually revolves around rubber industry. It is the spiralling rubber price which has significantly contributed to the recent 10 per cent overall growth of Kerala’s economy, the memorandum adds.