NEW DEHLI—Duties on natural rubber latex are undermining the competitiveness of many rubber manufacturers in India, Mohinder Gupta, president of the All India Rubber Industries Association (AIRIA) has warned.
Since their introduction in April, the duties have forced Indian latex product companies to move from production to merely distributing products made by competitors in China and other Asian countries, Gupta said.
In his president's report at the 63rd AGM of AIRIA on Sept. 26, Gupta said: “NR latex has an import 70 percent duty, which prohibits manufacturers (from) import(ing). They are happier importing balloons at an import duty of 10 percent, further possibly under invoiced to an effective duty of 5 percent.”
The AIRIA president cited the case of Dahanu in Maharashtra, which was once a hub for rubber balloons but now “wears a deserted look leading to thousands of job losses in the manufacturing sector.”
Indian manufacture of dehusking rollers is similarly affected, Gupta noting: “Rice, which is a major produce of India, the government instead of promoting rubber dehusking rollers, has signed an (free trade agreement) to import with a nil rate of duty vs. an import duty of 10 percent on the rubber needed to manufacture.”
These are just two examples, the industry leader emphasized, pointing out that there are 78 rubber products on the list for FTAs and that the list may increase in future.