Centre's intervention sought to check falling rubber prices

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Kochi, Nov 20 (UNI) Blaming the tyre industries for regulating rubber prices, Mr P C Thomas, MP, today urged the Centre to chalk out policies to arrest the downfall of rubber prices, which had recently plummeted to Rs 58 from Rs 142 per kg.

Speaking to reporters here, Mr Thomas said '' the free fall in the rubber prices had adversely affected Kerala's economy and the farmers in the state.'' He alleged that the tyre industries were working as a 'syndicate' and regulating the rubber prices in the market.

'' The tyre industries would determine the prices at which they would procure rubber and if they are not getting the intended procurement rates, they would stay away from the market resulting in a reduction of rubber prices,'' he alleged.

Mr Thomas alleged that the rubber-related business groups had imported more than 50,000 tonnes of rubber and this would be detrimental to the domestic market.

He also urged the Centre to increase the import duty on rubber and encourage rubber export.

Mr Thomas said the farmers under the banner of 'Karshaka Sangatana Aikya Vedi' would stage a demonstration before the Parliament on December ten to highlight the anamolies in the loan waiver scheme announced by the Union Government.

UNI MA PMM 1450

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