Ministry of internal trade should be formed: FPTA

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Read the exclusive interview of Mr. C.Balasubramanian, President of Federation of Paper Traders Associations of India

Ministry of internal trade should be formed: FPTA

Federation of Paper Traders Associations of India is a federation of 35 paper traders associations across India. FPTA serves its members by promoting co-operation among various associations, disseminating statistical and other useful information among the members, arranging international business visit to exhibitions, paper mills seminars etc., Representations on behalf of paper trade to State and Central government, promoting arbitration, convening conferences, seminars, lectures, workshops, technical sessions relating to trade and taxation, Promote awareness on Eco-Friendliness of paper and its sustain ability. Exclusively talking to THE PULP AND PAPER TIMES, FPTA’s president Mr. C.Balasubramanian discussed about the paper traders situation in India. 

What are the major constraints you (as trader) face in Indian market and Foreign Market?

The economic slowdown in India as well as throughout the world affects the trade and industry. Once this recessionary trend is over, the trade will do much better. The constraints which paper traders face in India is low profitability, supply more than demand and imports.

What is your trade association’s expectation from Government for better trading?

Abolition of all other indirect taxes including entry tax, octroi and local bodies tax on the  implementation of goods and services tax (GST) and easy loans at PLR rates from banks for trading sector, separate Ministry for trade, Better infrastructure facilities in commercial markets, Social security scheme for traders, Protection of domestic trade from foreign direct investment and big corporate houses. Transport plays a major role for paper manufactures. Transportation cost of raw materials and the finished product is sizeable. Here we expect government to speed up road projects and also in railways to have dedicated freight corridors through the country.

How Foreign Direct Investment is eating Indian Paper Market?

Many foreign direct investments are coming up in the retail segment .Paper traders particularly who are in retail trade couldn’t face the competition from organized big retailers.

What is the Social Security scheme how a trader can be benefited with that?

A trader after retirement or in case he closes down his business a trader should be paid a pension under a pension scheme. The amount of payment of pension should be in proportionate of the state and central taxes paid by him during his business tenure. Even now Traders Welfare Boards exists in some of the states like Tamilnadu (India) which have few small beneficial schemes.

Ministry of Commerce (MoC) is already operating in Center, How separate ministry can help Paper Traders in much better way which MoC  is not capable to perform?

At present MoC is more oriented towards industry. National Chamber of Commerce and Industry which regularly interact with MoC always represent for Industry, Export and Import and organized Trade. The unorganized retail trade is not represented at present. The internal trade of the country is governed by multiple Laws, Rules, Regulations and manifold authorities. An ordinary Trader in the country is generally not in position to comply with all formalities required to be complied by various departments and governing statutes. In order to streamline the system and to provide a single window to redress genuine grievances  of Retail Trade it is suggested that a Ministry of internal trade be formed both at center as state level.

What are expectation of your trade association’s from India paper mills for better paper buying?

FPTA has signed a Paper Trade Customs with the Paper Mills Associations regarding the following,

Nomenculature – Printing and writing papers,packaging and wrapping papers,paper boards, speciality papers.

Conditions of sale, Marketing, Wrappers, Variations, Retree, Special Marketing, Materials, Dandy rolls and moulds, Deliveries, Delayed deliveries, Claims, Contracting out, Arbitration and  Other terms. We paper traders expect the Mills to follow the above paper trade customs,

Although you as federation has signed up paper trade customs with paper mills association but still paper buying of paper from mills is dropping every year. What could be the  reason of drop in buying requirement.

Drop in buying is no way connected with paper trade customs. It is a standardization procedure to be followed by both FPTA and IPMA regarding order and supply of Paper.

For a new Paper Trader the word “paper trade customs” is not understandable. Please provide more details about this paper trade customs. 

“The Paper Trade Customs” is an agreement signed by both Federation of Paper Traders Associations of India and Indian Paper Manufactures Associations of India and Indian Paper Manufacturers Association in 1992 Covering Terms and Conditions of paper trade . It was revised and new terms and conditions were agreed and published in 2002.This agreement covers the various parameters given above.

How the Indian Paper Trader can improve the paper sale of Indian Paper Mills?

Packaging Sector is improving because of the following reasons. Growing middle class, Growth in retail sectors, processed food packaging and consumer electronic.Office copier paper and print media which is the world’s second largest is also improving. Hence concentrating on the sector, paper trade can be  improved.

Approx. how much paper is getting imported from foreign countries? Why this import is getting increased every year?

Imports of Paper and Board – 1.5 Million tons ± 0.2 Million tons

Imports Newsprint – 1.5 million tons

Import increases @ 18 % per annum .The reasons being Zero duty for SAARC countries, Reduction of Duty for other countries and over capacity in Countries like China. The excess material which cannot be exported to US and EU are dumped in Asia particularly India.

Quality wise how do you differentiate between paper as India paper mills vs Paper of European paper mills?

Quality wise both the papers of Indian mills and European paper mills are almost same. Due to the usage of more percentage of virgin pulp foreign mills have an edge over in strength of paper comparing Indian mills.

What are common issues of the traders and what solutions you seek?

We need a Simplified GST Tax Regime, National trade policy for Traditional Retail Trade, Better Banking facilities for small Traders, Redefining of credit rating norms for trading community and policy to compensate traders at any natural calamity like Chennai floods. Dispensing of Inspector raj. Representation of Trade in Government Boards and committees in relation to Trade and Commerce.

How should be the National trade policy? Give some general details so that a prospective paper trader should understand that this policy could be beneficial for them.

National Trade policy need to be more focused on retail trade than organized wholesalers. The policy may be framed as per the Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi’s parliamentary committee report tabled on both the houses of the parliament on 8th June 2009.The policy is for all segments of retails trade including paper trades in retail sector.

What kind of papers are getting imported mostly?

Coated Paper and board, Copier Paper, Newsprint, Woodfree Paper, Specialty paper and Boards ie, Carbon Less paper, Currency papers, Cartridge paper etc.,are imported mostly.

As a paper trade association how do you educate about the fraud supplier companies to your Members?

We have regular interaction between our members and our members are cautioned about fraudulent supplier as well as fraudulent consumers.

How do you support a new company or Individual who want to become a Paper Trader?

A new comer is always welcomed and he is encouraged to become a paper trader as well as our member. After becoming a member he stands benefitted by all our services.

When a paper trader gets associated with FPTA  through the local affiliated association he can register on our website www.fptaIndia.in and can get all the information about paper, paper trade ,paper mills, properties of paper etc.

Also he can avail the services of FPTA such as attending seminars ,workshops ,participation in Educational courses on paper, participation in industrial visits locally as well as internationally

What is future of Indian Paper Market?

Government schemes like Sarva Shiksha Abbhiyan, Promoting more usage of paper to increase per captia consumption, and online sales which needs more packaging  will accelerate the demand for paper and it will grow steadily

Increasing per captia consumption is a long term plan, but on other side many states have banned plastic bags in their state, don’t you think putting ban on plastic bags helps Paper Market to grow.

Yes banning plastics is one of the factors which contribute to the growth of packaging sector. At present the packaging sector grows at a sustainable growth every year.

Any upcoming Seminar or Conference?

In Federation level we have our Managing Committee Meeting at Chennai in june 2016 and our AGM and Conference will be in September  2016 at Mumbai.

Further our affiliated associations are regularly having regular regional seminars on GST, Management Taxation ,Labour laws and other topics related to Trade.

How much growth in export of paper you see?

At present export of paper and Board  - 0.4 Million Tons. We cannot expect an exponential growth .Although dollar appreciation at present is beneficial, we cannot expect an exponential growth. The growth will be gradual.

Year by Year how much growth in paper export you see?

Export from India

2011 - 12 0.5 Million Tons

2012 - 13 0.5 Million Tons

2013 - 14 0.5 Million Tons

2014 - 15 0.6 Million  Tons

Thanks. If you want to  ask any question from FPTA please drop your mail at info @ thepulpandpapertimes.com 

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