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    Monday, April 25, 2016

    Malaysia Has Not Imposed Ban On Import Of Rubber - YB Dato' Noriah Kasnon

    Malaysia has not imposed a ban on the import of natural rubber, said Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Noriah Kasnon.

    Noriah said the ban was not feasible given the lack of raw material, especially latex, for the rubber glove industry.

    "The production of latex in the country last year amounted to 45,862 tonnes while the use of latex stood at 406,930 tonnes," she said in reply to Senator Ramli Shariff at the Dewan Negara sitting here today.

    Ramli had wanted to know the measures taken by the state government to curb the entry of rubber from other countries.

    Commenting further, Noriah said the government, through the Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB), had conducted periodical investigation to ensure that the quality of imported rubber was equivalent to what was declared in the Import Form.

    Meanwhile, Noriah said the government was concerned about the wellbeing of rubber smallholders and tappers affected by the instability of the commodity price.

    As such, she said immediate measures had been implemented to alleviate their burden, including by implementing the Rubber Production Incentive (IPG) from January last year.

    "In January this year, the IPG Price Level Activation (PHP) for SMR20 has been raised from RM5.10 to RM5.50 per kilogramme.

    "...and for the price of cuplumps (rubber scrap) from RM2 to RM2.20 per kilogramme, using an allocation of RM200 million, and as at April 6, a total of 93,365 applications have been approved for IPG distribution, involving an allocation of RM14.01 million," she said.

    She said the government has also implemented the price fixing mechanism at farm-gate with by providing an allocation of RM6.4 million for cooperatives to carry out the rubber transaction.

    Based on feedback received, she said 10 cooperatives had been involved in the rubber transaction so far and they were offering an average price of 10 to 20 sen higher than the price offered by licensed rubber buyers.

    Noriah said the government had also forged cooperation and held discussions to stabilise the price of rubber under the framework of the International Tripartite Rubber Council(ITRC) and the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC).

    -- BERNAMA
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