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Paper industry voices concern on mounting imports

Paper industry voices concern on mounting imports 

KOCHI: Indian paper industry has expressed concern at the rising import of paper and paper boards.

Import of paper and paper board witnessed 28% rise in 2016-17 from a year earlier at 14.17 lakh tonnes, which is a new high.

“Indiscriminate import of paper is hurting the interests of domestic industry which does not enjoy a level playing field vis-à-vis imports from countries where cost of production of paper is a fraction of cost in India as raw material, inputs and energy is much cheaper and easily accessible”, Indian Paper Manufacturers Association (IPMA) has said in a communication to the Government.

Imports of paper and paperboard into India have been increasing steadily year after year. In the last six years, imports have risen at a CAGR of 15.8% in value terms and 17.6% in volume terms.

“What is worrying is the fact that imports are growing at a higher rate as compared to the increase in domestic production rate. Domestic industry is battling odds to compete with paper which is being imported at a cost which in many cases is less than production cost in India. India is a growing market for paper. However, most of the growth in demand is being met by imported paper while domestic capacities are lying underutilised”, said Saurabh Bangur, president of IPMA.

Even as the industry is grappling with the issue of producing paper and paperboard at competitive costs, the problem has been exacerbated by the government’s policy of extending preferential tariff treatment to import of paper and paperboard under trade agreements, IPMA said.


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