Tribune News Service
Solan, November 21
The multifold increase in the price of kraft paper by mills coupled with its inadequate supply have affected the state corrugation industry.
The problem has been compounded in the wake of the Covid outbreak, as both generation and collection of waste material, which is the raw material of kraft paper, has been severally hit. “The price of waste paper has gone up from Rs 9 per kg to Rs 15 per kg since October. This has prompted paper mills to enhance the price from Rs 20 per kg to Rs 28 per kg of the low grade paper and up to Rs 35 per kg of the high-grade paper,” said Surinder Jain, president, HP Corrugation Box Manufacturers’ Association, who runs Devashish Food Packaging Unit in Nalagarh.
Investors say that the government should enhance the availability of waste paper in the domestic market by lifting the ban on its import.
Despite the rise in its price, adequate kraft paper is not available in the market. “For the first time, corrugation units have been forced to refuse supply orders from consumer goods units as well as kitchen appliance and pharmaceutical manufacturers, as there is no kraft paper available,” said Jain.
“Unless the Central Government directs paper mills to reserve some share of the kraft paper for the domestic corrugation industry and import the remaining, we will continue to suffer a shortage,” he said.
“It has been a lean year for business. Even the apple trade has been the lowest in years. Initially, the industries were exhausting their old inventories of packaging material. We were waiting for them to place fresh orders, but now we are unable to accept orders,” said Jain.
The state has over 250 corrugation units.
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