Azerbaijan, Baku, July 25/ Trend M. Moezzi
As publishers complain about higher paper prices, paper sellers say the Iranian government's interference and price assignments are the offence, the Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA) reports.
Ahmad Sharifian, a board member of the Paper Sellers Union says the government's arbitrary prices create the conditions for a "mafia" to take over the situation and profit from higher prices. The government sells paper imported from China for 535,000 rilas, Sharifian said. This sets the future price of paper because it will be impossible for the price to be lower than that just been paid.
Last year, the paper market lost millions of dollars and saw numerous bankruptcies, the Paper Sellers' Union member said. One reason for the paper market's problems is the rial's devaluation. Some use the cheaper dollars to buy paper and then sell it at higher prices in Iran.
The Central Bank of Iran has set the official exchange rate at 12,260 rials to the dollar. That rate is available to importers of certain goods that are deemed essential. Meanwhile, the exchange rate in Iran's free currency market is around 19,000 rials to the dollar.