EghtesadOnline: Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh has written a letter to First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri, calling for a 5% rise in import tariffs on paper to reach 10% to protect domestic producers, which has been opposed by the main domestic users.
“Importers are enjoying the 9% exemption from value added tax whereas local producers have to pay the VAT on the import of raw materials, including paper pulp, wood, bagasse and chemicals, which has created an unfair competition,” reads the letter cited by Mehr News Agency.
The minister’s letter comes as groups ranging from publishers to newspaper owners to paper associations (except for local paper producers) have opposed the ministry’s plan to increase import tariff on paper.
According to Hossein Mirbaqeri, the head of the Association of Paper and Paperboard Sellers, domestic production can only meet up to 25% of the country’s paper requirements due to its low quality, Financial Tribune reported.
“Newspapers will be the first to suffer from a rise in paper prices,” he has been quoted as saying by ISNA.