Pakistan’s paper shortage can impact the academic year starting in August 2022

The monoply of the local paper industry is also playing a big determining factor behind the shortage.

Pakistan's paper shortage can impact the academic year starting in August 2022

According to Pakistan’s paper association, the country is facing a shortage of paper. Which is why, books will not be available to students in the new academic year starting in August 2022.

This has been caused by the growing economic crisis, inflation and a tax on imported paper. The monoply of the local paper industry is also playing a big determining factor behind the shortage.

Pakistan’s paper crisis

The education sector will be severly impacted. Many students will not be able to get academic textbooks, as this comes at a time when schools and colleges are gearing up for the new academic session. Boards in KP, Sindh and Punjab will be unabe to print new textbooks, and millions of students will be impacted by this.

The unavailability of textbooks will have an impact on middle-class students. Educational institutes could exploit parents of students and force them to pay huge sums.

What has caused the paper shortage?

In the country, there are around 18,000 businesses involved in printing and packages. Their supply chain is undergoing obstacles due to the imposed tax and rising inflation.

Publishers have warned that there will be a shortage of textbooks if the prices for locally manufactured paper is not fixed. ‘

According to the Chairman of Publishers and Booksellers Association, the local producers are unable to meet the demand, meanwhile importers are suffering because of heavy taxation. The price of paper has skyrocketed due to the crisis, and is currently very expensive.

There has been an increase of Rs100 per one kg of local paper since January, which is pushing the printing industry towards a collapse. Every week, there has been a price hike of Rs5 to Rs8 per kg of local paper. The government is yet to take steps to fix the issue.

By increasing the price of low-quality local paper and imposing tax on imported paper, the government is stopping Pakistan from entering an export market worth billions of dollars. The Publishers and Booksellers Assocation has demanded the government reduce the tax on imports.

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