In order to save the crisis-ridden plantation sector, the Kerala government has decided to abolish the plantation tax. The state of Kerala is the largest producer of rubber in India. The decision was taken considering the demands from plantation management and workers’ unions in this regard.

“Kerala abolishes plantation tax and seigniorage on rubber timber and freezes agricultural income tax. Rs 4,00,000 houses for all plantation workers. Special package for crisis-ridden plantation sector announced,” tweeted Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Issac.

The government will extend support to repair the labourers’ accommodation (layams) in the plantations. It would be done in a collective manner with the government and the management sharing the cost equally. The government also decided to do away with the fee for cutting rubber trees.

“The government decided to do away with plantation tax is a big relief to the sector, which plummeted from Rs 200 billion in 2012 to Rs 80 billion last year. Though it has come a bit late, the government move will help planters reinvest in the sector,” said Association of Planters of Kerala chairman Thomas Jacob.