Printing unit owners across the region are facing hardship because of the steep and unprecedented rise in raw material. Highlighting the price rise of printing inks, plates and paper, the Printers’ Guild, Nagpur has condemned it and urged the policy makers to look into the matter. Stating that the printers in Nagpur region were already hit by fall in demand for printed products due to the COVID-19 pandemic, President of the Printers’ Guild Atul Tapas and Secretary Amit Bisne jointly said it was only in the past few months that the market was showing some signs of revival.
“The printers are striving to keep their rates at bare minimum, lest the growing demand doesn’t get burned out due to increase in prices. However, raw material manufacturers, especially of paper, have increased the prices by almost 30 to 35%,” said the office-bearers of the printers’ body.
Tapas and Bisne have appealed to the printers to increase prices of printing and printed products and urged the consumers to bear with the printers.
They added that the Government can play an important role in keeping a check on paper prices.
Apart from this, All India Federation of Master Printers (AIFMP) has also condemned the sharp increase in rates of raw material.
The consuming industries, on the other hand, are not willing to pass on the cost, making
printing business unviable, it
India, with 250,000 printing companies is leading the world. Moreover, the printing and packaging industry is an intermediary industry, dependent on industries, Government and educational institutes.
Prof Kamal Mohan Chopra, President of AIFMP said that more than 85 per cent of Indian printing entrepreneurs were micro or tiny units and
thus not able to sustain major jerks like this.
After the lockdown, due to pandemic which created havoc, things have started improving, but the printers are facing loss due to the unprecedented hike in the prices of raw materials.
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 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, paperboard – and straw board comes under ‘Essential Commodities.’ “We feel this law is not being implemented properly. We wish that the 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,” he observed.
G N Visvakumar, 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 unawares. 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.