Govt may reduce import duty on natural rubber

Govt may reduce import duty on natural rubber

New Delhi: The government on Monday said it is considering cutting import duty on natural rubber, a long pending demand of tyre manufacturers.

“Yes, I have seen requests ... we are thinking about it," commerce secretary Rahul Khullar said when asked whether the government is considering the industry’s proposal to reduce import duty on natural rubber.

At present, customs duty on natural rubber, the main raw-material for tyres, is 20%, whereas the customs duty on tyres (the finished product) is 10%.

The tyre industry has been demanding a reduction in import duty on natural rubber from the current 20% to 7.5% in view of high domestic prices, which have been ruling in the range of Rs170-180 a kg. In the global market, prices of natural rubber (RSS-3 variety) are ruling at Rs153.73 per kg.

According to the Rubber Board, consumption of the commodity has been increasing on account of rising production of tyres.

The production of truck and bus tyres increased by 15% and 21% respectively during 2009-10 over the year-ago period.

According to the board, imports of natural rubber was estimated to fall to 70,000 tonnes in the current financial year from 1.7 lakh tonnes in the previous fiscal.

Last month, imports declined by more than half at 9,255 tonnes due to higher global prices.

In 2010-11, the consumption of the commodity was estimated at 9.78 lakh tonnes and production at 8.93 lakh tonnes.

India, after China, is the second largest consumer of natural rubber.