The Rubber Act, 1947

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The Act no. 24 of 1947 i.e. The Rubber Act, 1947 is enacted with the motive to prove for development of the Rubber industry under the control of Union of India. Section 2 of the Act make specific declaration to this effect, that the Union of India should take the rubber industry under its control as it is necessary in the public interest. The same Act is extended to the whole of India but the State of Jammu and Kashmir is exempted from its application.

The Act in its starting provisions provides for short titling of the Act and its extension, and also the declaration as aforesaid and next provision in the Act is dealing with various important definitions which are necessary for the interpretation of the provisions of the Act.

Section 4 of the Act is important so far as it is related to the constitution of the Board namely Rubber Board, by the Central Government. The Board should be a corporate body having all the relevant features of the of the registered company, including perpetual succession, common seal, etc. The members and Chairman of the Board should be appointed by the Central Government. Special representation is given to the State of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the members of the Board. The matters connected with the vacancies, salary and allowances of the members of the Board are provided under sections 5 and 6 of the Act. The Central Government is empowered in case of vacancies to provide for nomination of members for appointments. So far as the salary and allowances of the Chairman and his leaves, pension, provident funds, etc. are concerned, the Central Government can fixed it. The entitlement of the Part time Chairman is given as to only honorarium and allowances and etc. which will be fixed by the Central Government.

The Act also specks of appointment of Executive Officers. Rubber Production Commissioner and Secretary of the Board, by the Central Government and such officers, Commissioner and Secretary of the Board are responsible to perform duties under the directions of the Board. Similarly, the Act is also makes provisions for appointment of Committees of the Board, for discharging its duties and functions under the Act.

The functions of the Board are enlisted under section 8 of the Act where promotion of the development of Rubber industry is main amongst others. Moreover, the Board is empowered under section 8A of the Act to import rubber for selling and also for purchasing the said in the internal market. Such power is exercisable by the Board with the approval of Central Government and such selling or purchase can be done at the prices so fixed by the Central Government.

Similarly, section 9 of the Act deals with the funds which the Board can constitute from the funds constituted by the ‘Indian Rubber Production Board’ under the provisions of Rubber Control and Production Order, 1946. Also there are two types in the funds maintained by the Board, i.e. General fund and Pool fund. Section 9A and 9B deals with detailed provisions as to constitution of such General and Pool funds.

The persons being owner of any land, wherein the rubber plants are planted, are required to make applications to the Board for registration as an owner thereof. Such applications are required to be made within 1 month’s period from commencement of this Act.

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Another important provision is connected with prohibition and control on import and export of Rubber by the Central Government. Under Section 11 of the Act the Central Government is empowered to make provisions as to prohibiting or restricting or even controlling the import and export of Rubber.

Moreover, the Act under its section 12 provides for power of the Central Government to impose or levy of cess or excise duty on the Rubber produced in India. And for collection of such cess or duty, the Board is entitled in accordance with rules, within the period of one month from the receipt of notice to that effect. Similarly, the Central Government is also entitled to fix maximum and minimum prices to be charged for selling rubber. And such decision of the Central Government as to fixation of maximum or minimum prices, is mandatory and in case of breach of such decision, the person liable therein, should be responsible suffer imprisonment extending to one year or fine or even both imprisonment and fine can inflicted upon him.

The Act provides for licenses to the persons who are engaged in selling or purchasing or otherwise dealing with the rubber. Such licenses should be issued by the Board under this Act under section 14. The provisions regarding publishing, period, etc. of licenses issued under this Act are given under section 15 thereof. Even section 17 provides that, for planting or replanting the rubber, licenses can be provided under this Act.

The Central Government is vested with tremendous powers under this Act, including controlling powers over the Board’s affairs under section 22. Section 25 again empowers the Central Government to frame rules consistent with the purpose of this Act and on the given matters under that provision.

Finally, section 26 is important so far as it is connected with the penal provisions. When any person breaches any provisions under this Act or falsely provided any report, return or otherwise under this Act, etc. such acts including other are offensive under this section. The maximum punishment is given for such acts is 1 year or fine maximum up to 1000 rupees or even both. For initiating any prosecution under this Act the consent of the Central Government is deemed necessary under section 27 of the Act.

The provisions of this Act has been amended several times including Amendments in the year 1954, 1960, 1982 and 1994 to provide for certain important updated provisions. Recently in the year 2009 the provisions of the Act were again amended by the Amending Act of 2009 (Act no. 4 of 2010). The most important amendment by this Amending Act is brought in respect of section 9, 9A and 9B of the Original Act. A new section in place of these sections is provided, dealing with formation of ‘Rubber development Fund’ credited with certain amounts from several sources as given. Along with this other amendments are also important.

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by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan.