Although the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance will decide on the new rate of paper price for supply and demand, profit seeking on paper market is rising on the eve of the Book Fair.
The Cultural Group of Mehr News Agency- There remains over two months to the opening the International Book Fair, but the paper fever on the publishing market does not allow the publication of new releases to publishers, and the situation prevailing the paper market and its high prices still remains.
Despite the fact that according to the latest table published by the Paper Work Group at the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, the largest volume of newsprint, writing, and bulk paper cleared from customs has been imported from the Russia and China, a high volume of the demands for paper imports without the dedication of foreign currencies are from the same origins in the table, which aggravates the crisis.
Recently, the director general of the domestic press and news agencies of the Ministry of Culture said, “Following the coordination with the Central Bank, the companies requesting to import paper with governmental exchange rate, whose Performa invoices have been at the Central Bank, can change their requested foreign currency and receive the Euro equivalent of their foreign currencies in Yuan, Dirham and Ruble in the shortest possible time.”
Seyed Mohammad Reza Darbandi has said, “Given the issues happened regarding the allocation of foreign currency from the Central Bank, the paper businessmen can negotiate with their counterpart and ask them to change the Euro currency in the Per-forma Invoice into three above mentioned ones, receive the equivalent of the invoice in one of the three currencies within three days.”
According to Darbandi, changing the currency of the per forma in the past was to begin the request process from the beginning and to get the approval from the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade, which took at least two months, but following the new decisions made by the Central Bank, the requested currency will be submitted to applicants in three days, and there is no need to fulfill the previous stages.
These statements are said while 377 cases were discussed in the Working group of the Ministry of the Culture and Islamic Guidance from the September to February; 53 ones were provided with currency a great part of which have not covered the purchase stages yet, and only 24 cases managed to clear their cargos of paper which mostly were newsprint paper not printing paper. These statistics, along with Darbandi’s remarks, indicate a puzzle the solution clue of which can be sought in the view of the Central Bank on the need to supply paper and also the type of investigation and distinction of the companies’ and individuals’ ability to import which was made in the Working group of the Ministry of Guidance.
However, it is reported from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Culture that paper working group of the Ministry of Guidance will finalize a pricing mechanism in its next week’s meeting, and the new rate will be issued for the purpose of customs clearance and delivery to the working group as well as the supervision of the Consumer Protection Organization.
The new rate will make clearer the conditions of importers to assign their products to the working group, although some importers have avoided assigning their paper to the working group despite the fact they can deliver their imported paper with a firm profit of 15% to the paper working group.
Moreover, a large part of the private importers have objection to the interference of the Ministry of Guidance in paper pricing and say the goods should be delivered to consumers by supplying foreign currency from NIMA system without the governmental supervision; some announce that this measure will cause the current prices to be aggravated and the price fluctuation to be uncontrollable.
This story has entered into a new phase since the verbal dispute happened between the Managing Director of the Tehran Cooperative of Publishers and Bookstores and the Head of Tehran Paper and Cardboard Union in one of the media. On the one hand, the head of the union claims that the inefficiency of Ministry of Guidance in selling paper has led to price increase. On the other hand, the managing director of the cooperative of publishers and bookstores believes that profit seeking of the members of the Paper and Cardboard Union is and has been the factor of recent and past expensive prices.
Meanwhile, the managers of the paper working group in the Ministry of the Culture and Islamic Guidance believe that their presence on the market has prevented the profit seeking way.
The main point admitted by both groups is the lack of a supervisory mechanism in this field and monitoring the correct imports and timely delivery of the products to distributors and eventually to consumers. The lack of this supervisory which has sparked numerous events on the paper market has made problems to the extent that some reports suggest the sales of the imported paper to the publishers and printing houses out of the capital at high prices and without official invoices.
Now we have to wait and witness the remaining challenge whether the paper profit seekers or the governmental distributive importing mechanism will get stronger until the Book Fair.