The press deputy of the Ministry of Guidance requested in a letter to the Central Bank and the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade that no L/C should not be confirmed for the imports of newsprint paper without coordination with him.
In an interview with Mehr News Agency, Mohammad Soltanifar – the press and information deputy of the Ministry of Islamic Guidance- while pointing to nowadays problems of the domestic press for the supply of their required paper, talked about the measures taken by this deputy to resolve the problem and said, “Abusing the USD at the exchange rate of 4200Tomans which was allocated to the newsprint paper importers could have disturbed the media’s tranquility to supply paper, and their concern increased when they found out the imports of paper with the value of over 20 Million USD by few unknown companies what caused us to control and investigate the paper market more seriously.”
He added, “For this purpose, a committee was formed with the press deputy of the Ministry of Guidance, the general office of domestic press, the security section of the press deputy (to identify the importing companies of newsprint), the representative of the big presses with high circulations, the paper distributors and dealers involving in sales and purchase, the syndicate of paper manufacturers, Mazandaran Wood and Paper Factory. As the first measure, in our correspondence with the Central Bank, we requested that no L/C for the imports of the newsprint should be confirmed without the approval of the press deputy of the Ministry of the Guidance. We sent a copy of our letter to the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade and asked them to give us the permission to control the newsprint paper market for the consumers.”
The press deputy of the Minister of Guidance added, “As the press deputy of the Ministry of Guidance, we do not tend to interfere the field of importing paper, but in order to know by whom and how much of the governmental foreign currency has been used for the imports of the newsprint, we asked the two important entities (the Ministry of the industry, Mine and trade and the Central Bank) not to allow the opening of L/C with the governmental foreign currency for the import of paper with the coordination with us.”
In response to the question of whether the Central Bank and the Ministry of Industry has given a positive response to the request, Soltanifar said, “The Central Bank has referred the letter to the Ministry of Industry, and we also corresponded with the Ministry, so as a matter of principle, they should not oppose the request.”
He continued, “In the second stage, we have asked all the paper sellers to assist to balance the supply and demand on the newsprint market by supplying a large amount of newsprint paper. Our view to the paper sellers is not negative, and we believe that they can win the confidence of their counterparts on the market that are newspapers.”
Stating that the paper problem is now a global issue, this authority at the Ministry of the Guidance said, “The volume of the production was 60 million tons in 4 or 5 years ago which has reached 28 million tons, and basically the global production of paper has significantly declined due to the environmental and other reasons; for example, China has stopped its paper production and meets its requirements through imports; in other words, the paper which could have been purchased at 300 or 400 USD or Euros until 3 or 4 years ago is 700 or 800 Euros now.”
Soltanifar added, “We have seriously urged the main domestic newsprint consumers, such as Hamshahri, Iran, Jam-e- Jam, Khorasan newspapers and the like that can change the price of domestic paper, to meet their requirements directly, and we will allocate their needs to foreign currency so that they themselves purchase their required paper. Of course, these newspapers also have their own problems like shortage of liquidity. We are also seeking advice from a number of banks to solve this problem by injecting liquidity into media.
The press deputy of the Ministry of Guidance said, “If these big newspapers can import their own paper and even a part of the market demand, we should hope that we will not face a crisis in the field of newsprint supply to media in the future. ”