The Rubber Board of India is responsible for supporting, developing and maintaining all activities in India’s rubber industry. This not only includes production of natural rubber, but uniquely in the world, production of synthetic rubber and subsequent processing of all types of elastomer. In addition, the Rubber Board advises the government on policy and collects the cess (tax) on exports of rubber. The Rubber Board also limits the imports of rubber to the country.
Among all global producers of natural rubber, the Indian industry is the most tightly controlled, largely by force of the Rubber Board’s ability to restrict imports of the material in order to preserve an artificially-high local price for rubber. This restriction of supply means production of tyres and other rubber goods in India is sometimes limited by the availability of raw materials.
It is a quasi-government organisation, set up under India’s Rubber (Production and Marketing) Act, 1947, to help and support the development of the rubber industry in the country. It is headquartered in Kottayam, in Kerala State, as Kerala is the home of rubber production in India.
The Rubber Board was established as a direct consequence of Britain’s war-time demand for rubber, which became a crucial resource for the war effort, among the Allied powers and the Axis powers. The availability of rubber among the Allies was a significant aspect of the Allied victory. Its name was confirmed as ‘The Rubber Board' by a later Act of Parliament, The Rubber (Production and Marketing) Act, 1954.
The Rubber Board reports to the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The Government appoints a Chairman of the Board, who is responsible for ensuring the Board behaves according to its constitution, and fulfils the requirement of the various acts of Parliament and amendments. The current Chair (2002) is Shri. S M Desalphine.
The chairman chairs a board of 25 other members. Ten of these are nominated by the government and a further three are members of Parliament. Eight people represent the growers in the State of Kerala and a further two represent the growers in Tamil Nadu, the other main rubber production region. In addition, the Executive director of the Rubber Board and the Rubber Production Commissioner are ex-officio members of the Board.
In addition to the Board, there is also a large secretariat under Dr. A.K. Krishnakumar, the Rubber Production Commissioner.
The Rubber Board maintains a number of regional stations:
- Central Experiment Station, Pathanamthitta, Kerala
- Regional Research Station, Kannur, Kerala
- Regional Research Station, Thane, Maharashtra
- Regional Research Station, Dhenkanal Orissa
- Regional Research Station, Sukma Bastar, Chhattisgarh
- Regional Research Station, Jalpaiguri West Bengal
- Research Complex (N.E Region), Guwahati, Assam
- Regional Research Station, Agartala, Tripura
- Regional Research Station, West Garo Hills, Meghalaya
- Regional Research Station, Koalsib Mizoram
- Hevea Breeding Sub Station, Kadaba, Karnataka
- Hevea Breeding Sub Station, Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu
Natural rubber (thousand tonnes) 2000-01 data
- Thailand 2357
- Indonesia 1543
- India 632
- Malaysia 546
- China 451
- Vietnam 317
- Liberia 109
- Sri Lanka 86
- Brazil 80
- Philippines 66
- Nigeria 50
- Cambodia 47
Although India is currently third in the world production rankings, almost all the rubber is used within India: total exports that year amounted to 12 168 tonnes from a total of 632 000 tonnes, while imports exceeded exports by some 8000 tonnes.
Indian production of Synthetic rubber (tonnes) 2000-01 data
- SBR 1502 --
- SBR 1712 --
- SBR 1958 12 482
- Latex(drc)* 1 422
- Nitrile 5 151
- Polybutadiene 40 670
- EPDM 4 304
- Others 1 431
- TOTAL 65 460
drc = Dry Rubber Content
Source / Further information