Representatives from Mufindi Paper Mills Limited (MPM) and Paper Converting and Packaging Industries in discussion
At the request of the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI), the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment recently brought together the Mufindi Paper Mills Limited (MPM) and Paper Converting and Packaging Industries to deliberate on availability of paper for betterment of local paper converting and packaging industries.
During the meeting which was held at the Ministry’s Meeting Room at Waterfront House in Dar es Salam, the Chairman of the meeting, the Permanent Secretary (Industry), Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Adlhelm Meru expressed the fifth Government’s commitment to assist local as well as foreign companies to grow.
The discussion was centered at the complaints raised by local paper converters that MPM was not able to supply them with the required paper as and when required, thus affecting their production schedule and overall performance.
The paper converters went further to express their view that the Government erred in giving protection to MPM against all paper imports falling under Chapter 4804 of the Common External Tariff (CET) 2017 Version, while some of the products are not produced by MPM or any other local manufacturer.
Responding to the complaints, the representatives of MPM said that MPM gives local orders first priority and that the delay in supplying was due to the need for production scheduling as they receive a large number of order for different types of paper. Processing of order takes time, as such he requested paper converters to process their orders earlier.
“We do our operations under first come, first served principle, with strict priority on fulfilling local orders……the production process requires sufficient preparations to be able to produce the type of papers needed,” Mr. Satyanarayana, MPM Business Development Manager, told the meeting.
MPM representatives pleaded that claims of delayed orders should be left between individual companies and MPM and promised to come up with amicable solutions for each case.
Furthermore, MPM representatives told the meeting that MPM has an annual production capacity of between 50,000 - 60,000 tons a year while the local paper converters and other customers uptake do not exceed 12, 000 tons per year. Therefore, there is no problem of production capacity. Local demand is only 20% of total MPM production.
After hearing both sides, the paper Converters and MPM, Dr. Meru gave directives that the paper converters should list all types of paper they require but not produced by MPM and present the list to the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment so that they can recommend to the Ministry of Finance for inclusion in the duty remission scheme.