Where by the falling value of Rs Inflation There has been a flood and the prices of goods are going up on a daily basis, among them there is one commodity whose prices have tripled in the last eight months and are now so high that most of the publishers in Pakistan have of books Publication has stopped
Due to the stoppage of containers of imported paper and books and difficulties in opening new LCs, there has been a question mark regarding getting new books for students of medical and other fields including A and O level in September this year.
The copy which was Rs 100 last year has now become Rs 300 in the market. What is this crisis and what are its causes?
Depreciation of rupee and increase in taxes
Paper prices have tripled in just one year, mainly due to the falling value of the rupee and the ban on imported goods.
In this regard, former Vice Chairman All Pakistan Papers Merchants Association Khamis Saeed Butt told Independent Urdu that ‘in Pakistan Paper Its production is less than it needs, secondly it is substandard.
Its balance in the market used to be maintained by importing paper, but for the last six months, new LCs have not been opened and hundreds of our containers have stalled due to which the market has become short of paper.
Earlier, A4 size standard imported paper was available in the market at the same price, now local and non-standard paper is available at the same price.
He said that by imposing 60% duty on imported paper, an attempt has been made to benefit the handful of mills in Pakistan that are making substandard paper.
After which the cartels have been justified in increasing the prices of substandard paper.
He said that the ex-mill price of standard offset paper is 820 Dollar per tonne while taking advantage of its absence in the market, local mills have increased the price of its second and third grade paper to $1,400 to $1,500 per tonne and there is no one to ask them.
He said that in the last budget, the federal government illegally imposed 10% regulatory duty on uncoated wood free paper under the pressure of local paper mills while there is already an anti-dumping duty of 11% to 39% on the said item. Is. It is double taxation and regulatory duty cannot be imposed when statutory anti-dumping duty already exists.’
He said that ‘FBR should investigate how much tax the mills producing 92% domestic paper pay to the exchequer compared to 8% imported paper.’
According to him, ‘after the amount of tax that the local paper mills are stealing, at least they would have been able to produce standard paper for the country’s needs, but they have not been able to do so till now.’
In this photo taken on August 14, 2020, a woman reviews books at a bookstore in Lahore (AFP).
What is the difference in the publication of books?
Publishers who print their books on imported paper have doubled their prices in just six months as standard paper is expensive in the market.
When Salim Malik, Vice Chairman of Pakistan Publishers and Booksellers Association was contacted to find out the reason for this, he said that the publishing sector in Pakistan has reached the brink of collapse. Already in a market of 22 crores, only books by well-known authors touch the 1000 mark, now they too have become so expensive that the publisher’s money is stuck. The book is not selling and when the first one Books If they are not sold, how will new ones be printed?’
“This is also affecting jobs in printing and binding which are closing fast,” he said. There are around 400 small and big publishers in the country who are winding up their business.’
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Gagan Shahid, publisher of Jhelum Book Corner, which is known for its beautiful and quality books, told Independent Urdu that the paper prices have tripled in just six months. Similarly, the rates of printing, gum, binding have increased three times. Which Book We were selling at 800 and people were saying it was expensive, now its cost has gone up to 2000, so it is like strangling the industry.
According to him, ‘the small publishers who used to work on paper credit have now closed down, now only the big publishers are left, if the government does not show mercy to their plight, the book will end in Pakistan.’
He said that the government should abolish the import duties on paper because it will not make much difference to the public treasury, but on the other hand, the role of the book in the promotion of knowledge in the country will increase.
What are paper manufactures called?
Two major business groups operate paper mills in Pakistan, while all other mills are small, producing paper from pulp-free and recycled materials.
A mill manager of a large business group said on the condition of anonymity that ‘after Corona, the prices of raw materials in the world have increased a lot and the most important material in paper finishing is pulp, which is the wood pulp that we import. It has to be done, its prices have increased a lot. Then the major reason for the crisis in paper prices in Pakistan is the dollar.
According to him, when the value of the dollar has increased three times compared to three years ago, it will also affect the prices. With this, electricity prices have become very high in Pakistan. Therefore, our industry is not able to compete with the global industry. When imports are opened, how will the local mills run?’