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Tropical Plantations’ land identified for Kerala government’s rubber company

KOCHI: More than two years since it was first proposed, the Kerala government’s plans to set up an industrial park to manufacture rubber-based products is slowly making  progress.

An expert team has identified a 200-acre land owned by Tropical Plantations in Edakkunnam village in Kanjirappally taluk for the industrial park, which will produce rubber-based products including tyres. As per the plan, the Kerala government will own 26 per cent stake in  Kerala Rubber Ltd while the remaining stake will be sold to private individual investors.

Sources said an expert committee comprising representatives from Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) and Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (KINFRA), Directorate of Industries and Commerce, among others, have almost zeroed in on the Tropical Plantations’ land for the project. The project will get to the next stage after the price for the land is negotiated, and a government order(GO) is issued to buy the land after the purchase price is arrived at,” said a senior KSIDC officer.

The project was first announced in September 2017 after a high-level meeting presided  by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced a CIAL-model (Cochin International Airport Ltd) company with private-public participation(PPP) for setting up tyre factories and rubber-based companies. The government is also hoping to rope in a leading tyre manufacturer to secure equity stake in Kerala Rubber Ltd. Officials said once the GO on the land purchase is issued, Kinfra can take possession of the it.

Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac, in his budget for 2019-20, said the government was establishing the CIAL-modelled rubber industrial estate company based on a detailed project report drawn up by KSIDC. The rubber company is meant to help farmers, who have been hit by the decline in natural rubber(NR) prices. The government believes that value-added products from rubber — balloon to flip-flops and tyres — will help the farmers to get better prices. The proposed rubber park will also have common processing facility for small rubber farmers.

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