The Rubber Board is a statutory body constituted by the Government of India, under the Rubber Act 1947, for the overall development of the rubber industry in the country.
Commercial cultivation of natural rubber was introduced in India by the British, although the experimental efforts to grow rubber on a commercial scale in India were initiated as early as 1873 at the Botanical Gardens, Calcutta. The first commercial Hevea plantations in India were established at Thattekadu in 1902. The importance of rubber production in India from strategic and security reasons had been realized by the government during the Second World War period. The rubber growers in India were encouraged to produce the maximum rubber required for the use during war. After the war, there were growing demands from the growers for setting up a permanent organisation to look after the interests of the industry. Thereupon the government set up an ad-hoc committee in 1945 to study the situation and to make appropriate recommendation. On the recommendation of this ad-hoc committee, the government passed the Rubber (Production and Marketing) Act, 1947, on 18th April 1947, and the “Indian Rubber Board” was constituted forthwith.
As noted above, a consideration of the post war natural rubber scenario prompted the Government of India to pass the Rubber (Production and Marketing) Act, 1947 to provide for the overall promotion and development of the sector under its guidance and control. As envisaged in the Act, the Indian Rubber Board was set up as the statutory organisation responsible for assisting the government in implementation of the various provisions of the Act. The Act which came into force on April 18, 1947 has since undergone many amendments.
The Rubber production and Marketing (Amendment) Act of 1954 which took effect on August 1, 1954 made some important changes in the constitution of the Board now renamed as The Rubber Board. It clearly defined the role of the Board in the development of the industry and in formulating and implementing necessary research and development programmes. This was followed by notification of the Rubber Rules, 1955 laying down guidelines for the Board to follow in carrying out the purposes of the Act. The Rules have been subjected to need based amendments from time to time.
The Rubber (Amendment) Act of 1960 made certain alterations in the rate and procedure of collection of cess on rubber. The Rubber (Amendment) Act of 1982 provided for the Central Government to appoint a part time or whole time Chairman for the Board and, if necessary, an Executive Director for exercising such powers and performing such duties as may be prescribed or delegated to him by the Chairman. The 1994 Amendment refixed the maximum rate of cess that can be levied on rubber.
The Rubber Board functions under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry of the Government of India. The Board has a Chairman appointed by the Central Government. He is the principal executive officer responsible for the proper functioning of the Board and implementation of its decisions and discharge of its duties under the Rubber Act.