Lack of wise measure and control in paper distribution has reached peak in the subdivisions of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.
Mehr News Agency Cultural Group: According to the decision made by government, paper has been removed from the list of the basic goods and is subject to NIMA exchange rate. However, the limited tonnage which is controlled by the Ministry of Guidance benefits from the governmental exchange rate of 4200Toman per each USD which will then be distributed under the supervision of this entity.
The news is being told month to month among the paper importers, the press people and publishers.
While the secretary of the Paper Work Group of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and the head of the Work Group in the Cultural Management Department is on a mission abroad, the press people's objection to the paper distribution is being cried out because one day passed the due week when Seyed Abbas Salehi, the Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, had promised to begin distributing governmental paper and to reduce the existing tension of the paper price.
According to him and some other paper officials in the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, 80 million Euros have been allocated to paper imports for both publication and the press for which two working groups have been recently establish in two Cultural and Media Departments to import the required paper. However, due to long procedures to achieve this aim, a lot of importers have been thinking of imports through the allocation of foreign currencies at NIMA exchange rate, which is associated with difficult drawbacks.
While paper importers clearly state that there is no allocation of foreign currencies for paper at even NIMA exchange rate in publication sector, the situation in the press sector is far worse.
Mehr's field observation indicates that two companies of Hamoon Negar Gostar and Jam-e-Jam Pioneer Merchant are the main importers of newsprint paper, one of these two newcomers who is not familiar even for the paper guild and not well-known is in the field of newsprint paper imports and distribution.
The performance of the foresaid company in recent days has been in such a way that some of its customers who have had to purchase its paper have returned the paper and taken back their financial documents because of the low quality of the paper which was unsuitable for the use in print machines in Iran, but some other customers have faced the importing company's response of selling their paper and buying the paper on free market with the income made by the sales of low quality paper.
Meanwhile, the commercial director of a newspaper with high circulation in Tehran told Mehr News Agency, "The Ministry of Guidance tells that the mentioned company shoul sell the paper at governmental exchange rate price. When they refer to the company, they say they only sell the paper at NIMA exchange rate. When our complaint is not paid attention to, some press authorities are forced to purchase its paper, but they say they will issue the pro-forma invoice at NIMA exchange rate of the day, and whenever their shipment is cleared from customs, they will calculate the exchange rate for the buyer at the clearance- day rate.
According to the mentioned authority, this happens while these two companies supply at most one or two tons of paper which meets the requirements of the newspaper for at most one week. The supply of paper for the survival of the press has become a serious concern which threatens their survival.
The silence of managers at the Paper Working Group in the Ministry of Guidance and the efforts of press deputy of ministry to show normal conditions are ruined by the inappropriate situation filled with crisis created by the government management of importing and supplying paper, and it is not clear how long the government will insist on monitoring the market without the balance between supply and demand. It is not clear what this situation ultimately leads to.