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Parliament March by Kerala Cong-M against UPA's import policy


New Delhi: Ministers, MPs and MLAs belonging to Kerala Congress-M, a key ally of the ruling Congress in Kerala, is organising a Parliament March tomorrow against UPA government's import policy causing sharp fall in natural rubber prices.

The Centre's rubber import policy has hit the growers in Kerala, which accounts for over 80 per cent of the domestic production of the commodity, party MPs Jose K Mani and Joy Abraham said here.

The party, whose support is essential for the survival of the Oommen Chandy -led government in Kerala, asked the Centre to stop the uncontrolled import of the commodity and save the thousands of the rubber growers.

Jose K Mani, MP from Kottayam seat, accused the Centre of not fulfilling its promise of lowering the rubber import tariff from 20 per cent.

He said that due to the Centre's policies, rubber prices have fallen to Rs 155 per kg from last year's prices of Rs 243.

The plummeting prices of rubber have hit the lives of farmers, particularly small and medium rubber growers, in Kottayam, Idukki and Pathanamthitta districts, he said.

The Kerala Congress-M alleged that the Centre, succumbing to the pressure from the industry, has imported 2,14,448 metric tonne rubber between April and October this year.

This is 83,000 metric tonne more than the previous year's rubber import, they said.

Farmers, particularly rubber growers, are the backbone of the Kerala Congress-M, they said.


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