KOTTAYAM: Indian Rubber Growers Association (IRGA) has refuted the allegation made by Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA) and other organisations, regarding stock of natural rubber in India.
Earlier, alleging anomalies in the data on country’s natural rubber (NR) stock which was published by the Rubber Board, tyre and rubber trade bodies had written to the Union Ministry of Commerce, saying this discrepancy will have significant consequences for all stakeholders.
IRGA general secretary Sibi J Monippally said that the issue does not carry any relevance at this point of time, when prices are low. The prices have plunged from Rs 242 per kg to Rs118 today. “The issue of stock was raised by ATMA deliberately to divert attention from core issues that the rubber sector in India is facing. This has been done with the ulterior motive of damaging real cause ahead of the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitaraman’s visit on Friday,” he said.
He added that it is pertinent to note that Rubber Board in June 2011 has changed the methodology of determining the stock available in India. “The decision dated January 21, 2012 of the statistics and market development committee, where a representative of ATMA is a member and signatory, was later confirmed in the meeting of Rubber Board. Now they cannot turn around and allege that the statistics of Rubber Board, with regard to stocks are not true,” he said. He further clarified that 50,000 MTs of natural rubber has been taken out from the total stocks on the recommendation of an expert committee. “This was agreed to by all, including the representative of ATMA. Production and consumption figures were not determined by deducting 50,000 MTs from the total stocks. Normally, the opening stock is determined on the basis of previous years closing balance. There is a conscious departure in the above methodology in calculating the stocks. Unaccounted stock and unaccounted consumption together with minor change in production figures can also attribute for temporary mistakes which would be regularized,” he said.
According to him, the growth of the rubber sector is the result of the hard work of the growers, efficiency of Rubber Board and continuous and uninterrupted support from the Central Government. “Therefore a campaign to the contrary, against growers of India by ATMA is totally against the national interest and domestic rubber sector in particular,” he said.