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Printers facing raw material cost shock: AIFMP

02 March 2021: Apart from Covid related challenges, the printing industry is facing the twin blow of continuous price hikes in paper, plates, chemicals, ink and other raw material and substantial rise in our input cost. All India Federation of Master Printers (AIFMP) condemn the sharp increase in the prices of raw material especially paper, plates and chemical etc. This unprecedented steep escalation of price of Paper by the paper mills is the major hurdle while consuming industries are not willing to pass on the cost making their business unviable.

Printing is considered to be the biggest invention of mankind till date, because it is considered to be the foundation stone of modern civilization. Presently India, with 250,000 printing companies is leading the world. All India Federation of Master Printers (AIFMP) is the apex body of Indian Printers ( Printing and packaging industry is an intermediary industry, dependent on industries, government and educational institutes.

Prof. Kamal Mohan Chopra, President AIFMP said, more than 85% of Indian printing entrepreneurs are micro or tiny units thus are not able to sustain the major jerks like this. After the lockdown due to pandemic which created a havoc, now the things have started improving, but the printers are facing loss of business due to the unprecedented hike in the prices of raw materials such as paper, plates and ink. He further said, the printing industry is facing a crisis as prices of raw material have shot up by 30-35 per cent threatening to turn the business unviable. He further added that, in addition to the increase in paper prices, all other input cost such as manpower, laminating film, freight and other overheads have also witnessed a huge increase of 60-70 per cent in last few years.

Prof. Chopra further said that in accordance with the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 (No 10 of 1955), 2 (a) (vii) paper, including newsprint, paperboar and straw board comes under ‘Essential Commodities.’ We feel this law is not being implemented properly. We wish that government should intervene, to oversee its strict implementation. It will help in improving the quality and the rationalisation of rates. If there is no check in this regard, the printers will be compelled to increase their cost, which will start a vicious cycle of increase in prices all over and affect the industry and the economy of the country.

G. N. Visvakumar, Hon General Secretary of AIFMP said, it is seen that over the past about five/six months the Paper Mills in the country have exponentially increased their prices. This sudden and unnatural spiralling increase in price of basic raw material “Paper & Board” has caught the printing industry unaware. The quantum and frequent increases in prices has knocked the wind out of our sails leaving the printing and packaging industry of India on the brink of collapse. He further added that the survival of the industry would be at stake, it may not be practical for us to supply the material without an increase of at least 20%.

Visvakumar added that Printing is an intermediary industry and most of the printers are operating in micro sector and also bound to abide by the contracts and tenders signed with private and various government agencies.

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