The Indian Paper Manufacturers Association (IPMA) recently wrote to the Prime Minister’s Office saying that the availability for the captive power plants of the pulp and paper industry continues to be precarious for several months. As a result, production processes are severely disrupted at several paper mills, while others are on the verge of shutting down operations.
The IPMA also added that paper and paperboard touch all aspects of life and its production is vital for education, packaging and several other sectors of the economy.
“Paperboard is crucial for almost all goods, especially all kinds of essential goods, including FMCG, pharma, food products, soaps, milk cartons, hygiene products and others. Similarly, writing and printing paper is essential for labels, pharmaceutical inserts and others, apart from all educational institutes,” the IPMA stated.
The paper and pulp industry fears closure of some paper mills if coal supplies by Coal India and its subsidiaries are not restored. This will result in shortage of writing and printing paper and packaging paper. This may have a cascading impact on all FMCG, food and pharma sectors. Schools and colleges have now reopened across the country and there is increasing requirement for notebooks and books.
“IPMA has, therefore, urged the government to consider priority allocation of both coal and railway rakes to captive power plants of pulp and paper industry at par with thermal power plants, and also restoration of the supply of coal from allocated/designated mines to consumers as prior to June 2021," the statement said.