The vice president of the Union of Paper and Cardboard Dealers said, “They say they have arrested paper sultan. He was the sultan who does not belong to guild while the other sultans are still moving around and active in the guild.”
In an interview with the cultural reporter of Pouya Club of Journalists, stating that the government’s intervention in the market was wrong, Ahmad Sharifan said, “Whether the government’s entry or its exit is wrong because the turbulence created on the market has caused trouble for everyone. Now the paper sultan has come up. Of course I think there is no sultan. We must talk about certain people’s lobbies with the country’s economic system rather than paper sultan.”
He said, “The Supreme Leader has repeatedly emphasized that the activities should be accomplished by people and the economy should be run by people, but this does not seem to be listened by some managers because they constantly intervene in the economic affairs what is a great mistake, and its result is what we currently witness on the market.”
He continued, “The government has now entered the paper market for nine months, but the market is still facing turbulence. We have turbulence in the other sectors of the economy, and instead of eliminating the turbulence, they try to show a desirable situation by making statistics.”
Criticizing Ministry of Islamic Guidance for allocating paper to publishers, Sharifan said, “The Ministry of Guidance is now in charge of organizing paper imports, but it strangely declares the paper will be dedicated to only publishers. If it was to be the case, the union of publishers’ guild could import. There are a large number of importers and distributors of paper spread all over the country. It cannot be announced all of them should stop their activities because the government wants to work just with a specific group. Then what will happen to the printing house that should continue its activities or a company that intends to get a catalog printed. What should they do?”
Also criticizing the activity of paper work group, he said, “The work group has been formed for months, but what have they done so far? The price of the paper which used to be 95 thousand Tomans per ream has reached 280 thousand Tomans. It is not reasonable when the Ministry of Islamic Guidance and Culture announces the give priority to publishers. This Ministry cannot make decision for a country; what percent of our people read books when we dedicate all paper subsidies to publishers?
Pointing to paper sultan, Sharifan said, “It was announced on the news that the paper sultan had been arrested while several paper sultans are free in our paper guild. They have arrested some lobbyists with the country’s economic system, but it is not enough. The main sultans are still in the paper guild.”
Referring to the existence of the paper mafia, he said, “I am afraid the existing deficiencies and weaknesses have led to the creation of mafias in different economic sections. If there had been no mafias, why would the exchange rate of USD have returned to 10 thousand Tomans. However, when the price of paper is calculated, the dollar price is still determined at 20 thousand Tomans. In my opinion, if the government intends to do something, the main solution to pass through the current situation is still under its own control.