President of Tamilnadu Master Printers’ Federation (TMPF) C.D. Kumaravel (second left) presenting a shawl to President of All India Federation of Master Printers (AIFMP) Subhash Chander (centre) at the felicitation function organised by TMPF in Coimbatore on Thursday. General Secretary of AIFMP Govind Bhargava (right), Vice President (south) of AIFMP P. Chander (second right) and Joint Secretary of AIFMP V. Ravi (left) are in the picture. The Indian printing industry is growing faster than the country’s economy (Gross Domestic Product), said Subhash Chander, president of the All India Federation of Master Printers, and Govind Bhargava, general secretary of the federation. They were here to participate in a meeting organised by the Tamil Nadu Master Printers’ Association.
They told here on Thursday that the apex body had 55 affiliate associations across the country and about 1.5 lakh printers as its members. They were into printing for different purposes such as commercial, packaging and digital. With the global economic meltdown, 15 to 20 per cent of business had come down. When the other sectors were hit, they reduced spending on publicity and printing. However, in the last one year, printing for the packaging sector saw 17 per cent growth. It was 10 to 12 per cent in commercial printing and 30 per cent for digital printing.
With the use of fast moving consumer goods growing, international brands coming in and pharmaceutical sector witnessing a growth, the scope for package printing was immense in the country. “Our people have grown in technology and today we are self-sufficient. We are able to cater to the needs of the domestic industry.” The technology used in printing units in several smaller towns was still conventional. In bigger cities, it was on a par with the Western countries. The per capita consumption of paper in India was less compared to the U.S. However, there was scope for growth. “We are improving on quality and technologies,” he said.
The Union Government sanctioned Rs. 10 lakh last year for a survey of the domestic printing industry and the study was going on. It also revived the development council for printing.The industry had sought reduction in duties. The domestic sector imported paper and machinery. Most of them used second-hand machinery. “We need to be competitive with our neighbouring countries.” Paper and machinery should be available in the market at competitive prices. So the Government should reduce or bring the duties to nil.
They said that printed material coming from the SAARC countries was at no duty. Similarly, books printed in countries such as Singapore attracted nil duty. So, publishers found it economical to print in other countries. The federation was also focusing on technology, research and training. The Bangalore association had acquired one acre where it was proposed to build an institute. This was a flagship project of the federation with an investment of nearly Rs. 30 crore. The institute would offer various types of courses. The printing machinery manufacturers would provide the machinery so that the students could have hands-on experience. In January 2010, the federation would organise an international printing exhibition in New Delhi. Awards would also be given for excellence in printing. A South Asian printing conference would be held in September this year in India.