Economy, Domestic Economy

Paper Factory Launched at Amirabad Port

Paper Factory Launched at Amirabad PortPaper Factory Launched at Amirabad Port

A paper production factory was launched by President Hassan Rouhani at Amirabad Port in the northern Mazandaran Province on Tuesday.

Employing 175 people, the factory will annually produce 155,000 to 160,000 tons of printing and writing paper, meeting 10% of the domestic demand for the product, IRNA reported.

To set up the factory, about 1.55 trillion rials (close to $41.2 million) worth of investment have been made.

Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh wrote a letter to First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri last month, 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 VAT on the import of raw materials, including paper pulp, wood, bagasse and chemicals, which has created an unfair competition,” read the letter reported by Mehr News Agency.

The minister’s letter came as groups ranging from publishers to newspaper owners to paper associations (except for local paper producers) 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.

“Newspapers will be the first to suffer from a rise in paper prices,” he has been quoted as saying by ISNA.


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