Paper and paper board imports jump 16% in last three quarter

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on February 17, 2020 Published on February 17, 2020

Paper & paperboard imports increased 16 per cent in the first nine months of this fiscal to 12.75 lakh tonnes from 11 lt logged in the same period last year, even as the Indian paper industry is reeling under excess capacity.

Of the overall shipments, import of paper from ASEAN region has risen even faster at 37 per cent during the nine-month period, according to data released by the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence & Statistics.

Notwithstanding adequate production capacities in India, domestic paper manufacturing is being hit hard in view of the continued surge in import of paper at low or nil rates of import duty enjoyed by some of the largest paper manufacturing countries, said the Indian Paper Manufacturers Association.

Paper manufacturers in Indonesia and China enjoy substantial amount of export incentives and other advantages like easy access to cheap raw material and energy, denying Indian manufacturers a level playing field.

A S Mehta, President IPMA, said in view of excess capacities in some of the large paper manufacturing countries in the world, paper and paperboard are being diverted to India, arguably the fastest growing paper market in the world. Growth in e-commerce, wider spread of education and increase in quality of life are leading to an increase in consumption of paper and paperboard. However, the demand is being increasingly met by imports, depriving Indian manufacturers of growth opportunity.

IPMA has asked for putting all grades of paper and paperboard in the negative/exclusion list of existing and future free trade agreements. “No import duty preference should be offered and a level playing field should be provided to domestic industry”, IPMA has stated. It has also called for change in paper and paperboard import policy to make them subject to import licensing. Both under the India-Asean free trade agreement and India-Korea CEPA, import duties on paper and paperboard have been progressively reduced to zero per cent on almost all grades. Under the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement, India has extended import tariff concessions to China (and other countries) and reduced basic customs duty from 10 per cent to 7 per cent on most grades of paper, said the association.

Published on February 17, 2020

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.