Kottayam: The rubber growers, as well as the Rubber Board authorities, are not happy with the allocation of Rs 142.6 crore earmarked in the Budget for the sector. Their hope for replanting subsidy for the last three years has been shattered as it is very low. “With the current budget allocation apart from giving the salary of the officials and running the regular programs of the Rubber Board no other activities will be possible. The Board's development projects will get affected,” said Babu Joseph, secretary of the National Federation of Rubber Producing Societies.
E.P. Mathew, president of the Aruvikuzhy Rubber Production Society, said he was yet to get the arrears for replanting. The Board will its research activities, RPS coordination and the training programs while the subsidy arrears will remain. “There is an arrear of Rs 40 crore for rubber planting,” said a Rubber Board officer. He said there had been a drastic reduction in allocations over the past years. In 2014-15 it was Rs 232 crore, which was reduced to Rs 132 crores in 2015-16, though the supplementary budget increased it to Rs 148.75 later.