Kerala govt releases Rs 23.45 crore to cover arrears of price stabilisation fund for natural rubber

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Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has released Rs 23.45 cr to cover the arrears of the price stabilisation fund for natural rubber. The money will be credited to the accounts of farmers.

The government-fixed price for one kilogram of natural rubber is Rs 170. The current market price set by the Rubber Board is Rs 140 per kg. The farmers will receive the balance of the amount for the rubber they sold, to make up their loss (in the present case, Rs 30 per kg).

As many as 1.47 lakh applications are pending before the government for monetary help. Rubber growers submit their applications to the rubber societies and they are later forwarded to the government after scrutiny.

Jose K Mani, leader of LDF constituent Kerala Congress (M), had requested the government to hike the base price to Rs 250, a promise that was made in the LDF manifesto. However, the finance minister was not ready to make the announcement. Instead, he increased the allocation for the fund by Rs 100 crore. The last hike in the base price was in 2021, by Rs 20.

The price of natural rubber came to public discussion recently as Thalassery Archbishop of Syro-Malabar Church, Mar Joseph Pamplany, stated that BJP will get a Lok Sabha member from Kerala if it hikes the rubber price to Rs 300 per kg. The state government maintains that the reason for the price slump is the import policy of the union government.

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