The Indian Newsprint Manufacturers Association (INMA) has said that the indiscriminate import and dumping of newsprint paper is threatening the very survival of the domestic newsprint industry.
INMA, which is the apex body of newsprint manufacturers in India, said that in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, as much as 85 per cent of domestic demand for newsprint paper was met by imports.
It further informed that the country has adequate manufacturing capacities to meet the demand both in terms of quality and quantity.
Further, in an SOS communication to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the INMA has asked for urgent remedial measures to safeguard the interests of the industry.
“The adverse impact of dumping is so serious that currently, no good orders are in place to keep the plants running, resulting in severe financial stress, endangering the continuity of the mill operations and retaining employment,” the INMA statement said.
“Domestic newsprint production capacity was 2.6 million tonnes in FY 2014-15 but has come down to 2.2 million tonnes in view of the continued challenging environment leading to the closure of mills,” INMA added.
“However domestic capacities are still adequate to meet the domestic demand. There is an urgent need to curb dumping and other unfair trade practices operating in the industry,” it further stated.
The INMA further stated that due to imports being cheaper than the domestically manufactured newsprint product, during FY18 and FY19, domestic sales of newsprint stood at 1.2 million tonnes per annum which reduced drastically to 0.7 million tonnes in FY20 in view of dumping.
The INMA further clarified that it was not against legal import by actual users but against unfair trade practice being adopted by the exporters.