CHENNAI: Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday assured the paper industry of safeguarding duty on imports.
She was in the city to participate in the 56th annual general meeting of the Federation of Indian Paper Traders’ Associations (FPTA). She said FPTA was benefiting from the cheap import of raw materials. However, the government will look into the issue if there is a challenge.
She said in response to N Gopalaratnam, chairman, Seshasayee Paper and Boards, who had earlier said that the growing cheap imports from the ASEAN countries had hit the industry.
Sitharaman asked the paper manufacturers to discuss with the State governments and the Centre the issue of growing pulp wood plantations in the degraded land allotted to the SC/STs and come up with a model that creates resource generation of the farmer as well.
The Minister also unveiled a new mobile application developed by FPTA to connect to over 6,000 members across India.
Shamji Karia, president, Federation of Paper Traders’ Associations and Saurabh Bangur, President, Indian Paper Manufacturers Association and vice-chairman, West Coast Paper, spoke about the challenges being faced by the industry.