Chennai: The cost of textbooks and notebooks will increase in Tamil Nadu as the printing costs go up by 30 per cent from Friday April 1.
Speaking to IANS, president of Coimbatore Printers Association, H. Nazar said: “The cost of paper is increasing by the day and hence there are no options for us other than passing on this price hike to the consumers. The price hike would vary based on the paper quality as the cost of double coated paper has doubled when compared to March 2021. It was Rs 2,500 for a kg for double coated paper in March last year while it is Rs 5,000 for the same quantity now.”
Nazar said that the prices of all raw materials have also gone up, including aluminum plates as well as ink. He said that while the cost of aluminum plates has increased from Rs 700 to Rs 1,000, the cost of ink has risen from Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,900 per kg.
Balasubramanian, former president of the Federation of Paper Traders Association of India told IANS: “The paper cost is now changing on a daily basis while earlier it used to be revised on an annual basis before the budget presentation. After the Covid outbreak costs changed every six months but the daily change of paper rates cannot be accepted.”
The import cost of raw paper has also increased 200 times due to the shortage of containers as India imports paper from China and the US. He said that the paper arrives in 45 days from China but takes 60 days to arrive from the US and if there were adequate containers, the volume of paper arriving would have increased leading to the necessary quantity of raw paper. This is also another reason for the increase in prices.
Domestic paper mills are also raising the rates due to an increase in pulp price and that of chemicals. The rates to the suppliers are now calculated based on the date of supply instead of the date of order as fluctuating prices are leading to losses to domestic paper manufacturers also.
K. Senthilnathan, one of the biggest distributors of books in Tamil Nadu, said: “For us, there is no choice but to go for a steep hike and pass on the increase in prices of raw materials to the consumers. The price hike will be effective from April 1.”