The rubber sector, which ahs about 1.3 million rubber farmers contributing for about Rs.1 lakh crore industry is in deep tumult as the Centre plans to repeal the Rubber Act of 1947.
The Rubber Board, the one which takes control over the system of licensing, extension, replanting, research, subsidies, and the control of export and import to and from other countries does depend on this Act. Withdrawal of this Act would disperse the present system fears the rubber farmers.
Mr.Mani, representing Pala , the heart of the rubber country in Kerala, said rubber was a important product that needed government support, but that over the years the Centre had ignored the sector by cutting financial allocations.
Shajimon Jose, rubber farmer and secretary, Chirakkadavu Rubber Producer Society in Kanjirappally said rubber farmers had fallen on hard times and reports of a possible withdrawal of the Act were disappointing.
The Rubber Act came into being in 1947 to promote natural rubber, a strategic product, entrusting the task to the Rubber Board. This sector has grown to 8.22 lakh hectare of cultivation and 13.2 lakh small cultivating units.