NEW DELHI: The government has reduced the export obligation period for rubber importers to six months, a move which would help stabilising domestic prices.
"Export obligation period has been reduced to six months from the date of clearance of each consignment by customs authority, wherever natural rubber is allowed as an input under Advance Authorisation/DFIA schemes," Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification.
Earlier the period for meeting export obligation was 18 months.
The United Planters Association of Southern India (UPASI) said that the government's decision would help stabilise sagging domestic prices.
A long time window makes the monitoring mechanism cumbersome and is not in line with the spirit of the import for re-export cause. All this had added to higher than required import and retention in the domestic market, it has said.
The persistent fall in the price of natural rubber has caused concern among rubber farmers in Kerala, which accounts for more than 94 per cent of the commodity's total production in the country. Rubber price, which ruled around Rs 220 per kg in January 2011, has touched a low of Rs 123 per kg in the domestic market.
The total area under rubber cultivation in Kerala is at 5.45 lakh hectares. It is the livelihood of as many as 11.50 lakh farmers with most of them small holders having less than 1.5 hectares under rubber. Total rubber production in Kerala for the year 2012-13 stood at 8 lakh tonne.
Last year India had imported over 3 lakh tonnes of rubber and this year, it is expected to touch about 4 lakh tonnes.