'Paperex 2007' starts; 380 exhibitors showcase paper, paper products

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New Delhi, Dec 7 (UNI) Asia's largest pulp, paper and paper products exhibition 'Paperex 2007' today kicked off with over 380 exhibitors from 25 countries marking their presence at the event.

''Started in 1993, the event is a biennial show, and has participants from about 25 countries,'' said Tafcon Chairman M L Wadhwa.

The Indian paper industry has been facing trouble over the rising cost of raw material. With the consumption growing at eight per cent, the country's consumption level is expected to touch 8.3 million tonnes this year.

The sector needs a sound infrastructural and financial base to keep up with the rapid pace.

The four-day event aims at addressing some of these issues and discuss ways of tackling these problems.

''The current production capacity in India is eight million tonnes. The government should reduce electricity cost, excise duty and increase the availability of raw material to make the paper industry competitive and achieve its target,'' Mr Wadhwa said.

Price competitiveness is also an issue that needs to be addressed urgently. ''Since the cost of production rises, it becomes difficult to maintain cost-effectiveness,'' he said.

The excise duty also remains high at 12 per cent, while the absence of fresh players is also stiffling the growth of the sector.

The industry is importing raw material at high custom duty and transportation costs make paper uncompetitive. Seventy one per cent of the country's paper production uses agro-based and recycled paper as raw material.

UNI

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