Vinod Kumar Jain: “ADD on paper will gravely impact printing, ink, plates as well as paper industry”

Vinod Kumar Jain, managing director at Secure Print is also a member of the standing committee for government relations at the All India Federation of Master Printers (AIFMP).

In this blog, Jain takes on the protectionist strategy of the government and says the anti-dumping duty (ADD) on the import of paper, will further impact the already wobbling and teetering Indian print economy

02 Apr 2018 | By Sriraam Selvam

Under the General Exemption No165, commercial catalogues in book form, printed books and printed manuals in bound form or in loose leaf form are exempted from payment of customs duty.

Moreover, vide the Bilateral Trade Agreements, printed materials can be imported at nil or much lower customs duty from various countries.

On the other hand, paper and paperboard, ink, etc. required as inputs for printed materials are chargeable to customs duty at the rate of 10%.

This inverted duty structure has increased plain and simple trading activities and a number of printed materials both educational and non-educational are being printed from outside the country and are being imported into India, thus depriving the printing industry, the ink industry, the plate industry as well as the paper industry in the country.

The import of printed materials during the year 2014-15 stood at Rs 2,769.27 crores, in spite of the fact that we have the finest printing units, who have won several international awards for excellence in printing.

Imposing of anti-dumping duty on coated and uncoated paper will have serious repercussions not only on the printing industry but also on the paper industry, the ink industry as well as the plate industry in the country.

On account of the internet explosion, the commercial printers are, as it is, fighting for their survival. Additionally, levying of anti-dumping duty would sound the death knell for a number of printers. This would also seriously affect the education sector as the prices of educational materials are bound to increase very sharply. Especially since paper accounts for 50% to 60% cost of books, etc.

There is no case whatsoever for imposing anti-dumping duty on both coated and uncoated paper.

In the case of uncoated paper, the petitioners are not even able to clarify as to how they had arrived at the import figures of the “product under consideration”, especially since no such classification exists for the said item under ITC HS Code. The data furnished along with their petition includes details of imports of coated paper.

The profitability, production, capacity utilisation of all units manufacturing the said uncoated paper has significantly gone up during the POI. The decline in production is related to only Ballarpur Industries (BILT) which was on account of shut down of their unit for a considerable period during the period of investigation as well as Tamil Nadu Newsprint & Papers Limited (TNPL), where the production was affected on account of shortage of Cauvery water.

Imports, if at all, have taken place on account of shortage of production and the vacuum created as a result of the significantly lower production of BILT and not vice versa.