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Herat publishers hard hit by rising tax, paper rate

Herat publishers hard hit by rising tax, paper rate

author avatar
15 Jun 2022 - 15:45
Herat publishers hard hit by rising tax, paper rate
author avatar
15 Jun 2022 - 15:45

HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): A hike in taxes on industrial products and the rate of paper has left a negative impact on printing presses in the capital of western Herat province.

Mohammad Aziz Aslami, head of the Aslami Printing Press, confirmed to Pajhwok Afghan News laying off some of his workers after the regime change due to his dwindling financial situation and decline in their activities.

He said his company, being a leading publisher in Herat City, had hired up to 50 employees. But currently he is left with 15 staffers only.

The price of paper had seen an unprecedented surge, he claimed, urging the authorities to shore up the printing business.

“In the past, one tonne of paper accounted for $800 while now the rate has risen to $1,850,” he said.

Aslami complained the revenue department had imposed a high tax on publishers, pushing their business to the brink of collapse.

Syed Yousuf Asami, a printing press shareholder in the city, confirmed a drastic decrease in their work.

He claimed they could print quality books, magazines and other things but due to the increasing price of paper, their business had fallen.

He said the publishing business in the province was largely dependent on the local industry, whose situation had deteriorated as well.

Mohammad Yaqub Mashouf, a writer, argued the level of reading in any society was closely linked to the printing of books.

He stressed the need for the promotion of studies and reading culture in Herat, a province known for education and cultural activities.

Deputy Director of Information Javid Zaraam acknowledged: “Publishing houses play a vital role in promoting the culture of reading in a society.”

He went on to identify the soaring cost of electricity, lack of paper-producing factories and uncontrolled price of paper as some of the challenges the local publishers were faced with.

In Herat, up to 35 different printing presses are functional, including the state-run Azad Publisher, but nose-diving orders from government and private entities have sent their revenues plummeting.

nh/mud

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