Offset Printers’ Association demands printing to be included in essential services category

India is under a 21-day lockdown

Offset Printers' Association
Offset Printers' Association

The Offset Printers’ Association (OPA) has demanded that printing should be recognized as an essential service at the central as well state level. The Indian government has declared lockdown for 21 days, and only essential services are allowed to function.

OPA said that if the printing industry is not permitted to function as usual and denied financial assistance, access to raw materials or other support, there is a risk that indispensable products are not produced. It said that the supply of packaging material to the pharmaceutical sector must be guaranteed for an uninterrupted supply of medicine. OPA further stated that labels, posters, and information-folders are very important communication tools, which are need during this time of the pandemic.

OPA said that the printing of newspapers should be uninterrupted as they are the most trustworthy sources of news. “Fake news about coronavirus is dangerous, threatening real people’s lives. At a time of widespread uncertainty and concern, the printing of newspapers/ literature must continue,” it said.

Reiterating the aforementioned points, OPA said it underlines that it is critical that the government include the printing and related sectors as an essential industry during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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