KOCHI: The Kerala Master Printers Association (KMPA), the flagship organisation of printing press owners in the state, on Wednesday said the uncontrolled price rise of paper, ink, chemicals and other raw materials, has forced the industry to hike printing charges by 30 per cent. Despite the hike, the industry, which employs thousands of peope, is on the verge of collapse, the association office-bearers said.
“The unregulated increase in the exchange value of dollar and price rise of fuel have also caused the huge enhancement of the price of imported paper. In spite of the 30 per cent increase in price of paper, the pitiable situation is that the required quantity of material is not available,” said the association’s state president R Gopakumar and general secretary Biju Jose, in a statement here.
KMPA said nearly 200 printing units have lost materials worth about `150 crore, either damaged heavily or slightly in the recent floods. “While this estimate is about direct loss, the final accumulated loss will amount to `400 crore. The livelihood of thousands of employeesand hundreds of owners of these printing presses are in peril. It is in such a juncture the unprecedented increase in the price of paper, ink, chemicals etc. has happened,” the industry body said.
It is also a fact that the surge of the social media has resulted in considerable shortfall of work in printing press industry. The huge increase in price of paper is the root cause of the injury suffered by the printing industry. “This industry which is on the verge of collapse can be saved only by the substantial intervention of the central and state governments. This is not a problem for which printing institutions can find a solution,” the release said.