MMS flags concerns with Maharashtra minister

Members of the Mumbai Mudrak Sangh flagged the looming price crisis and "various issues" with Subhash Desai, minister of industries, Maharashtra – but printers need to act fast to put things in place.

03 Apr 2021 | By Charmiane Alexander

Team members of Mumbai Mudrak Sangh with Subhash Desai

On 23 March, the members of Mumbai Mudrak Sangh (MMS) met with Subhash Desai, minister of industries, Maharashtra. The meeting, which transpired at the Mantralaya in Mumbai, discussed the price hike and the impact of the Covid-19 situation, which has accelerated the industry pain-points.

The MMS members who attended the meeting were Prakash Canser, president; Mehul Shah, secretary; and Rajiv Joshi, treasurer. Topmost on the agenda was the unprecedented hike in raw material price.

As per the MMS communiqué, Desai suggested, "The printer members should come together and increase their bargaining power by placing bulk orders jointly with the paper mills in an attempt to avail paper at a lower cost." The minister informed the MMS office bearers that the price rise is "a global issue and not just local or national."

The MMS team was notified that "the decision to make amendments in the Exim Policy is in control of the Central Government; and so, the state of Maharashtra has no involvement or command in these matters."

Meanwhile, the MMS office bearers highlighted that the textbooks meant for educating students in Maharashtra are being outsourced to print firms outside Maharashtra. This is resulting in loss of employment for the local youth graduating from the printing institutes and a loss of revenue to the state. Desai assured that he would arrange a meeting between Maharashtra State Textbook Bureau and the MMS team and ensure "relief to the book printers in the state."

Canser said, "Discussing a package of government support measures is difficult since the print sector lacks proper industry status. The Hon’ble Minister requested us to share the data of facilities, industry revenues as well as number of people employed." The MMS hopes to collate this data on a war footing.

Canser said that the minister, who runs a printing press, is also part of the print fraternity. He reassured, "Leave all worries behind. Let bygones be bygones. Be positive, good days are here to come. Restart your business; it's time to remedy your mistakes. Make a new beginning and march ahead."

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