Tue, 25 Oct 1994

SGP opposes newsprint price hike

JAKARTA (JP): The Association of Printing Press Firms (SGP) is opposed to a government plan to increase costs of newsprint, ink and electricity on the grounds the policy will make printed materials even more expensive.

The association appealed to the government to provide assistance, through subsidies, to keep the prices at a reasonable level.

The objection was among decisions the organization took in its two-day, fifth national congress which ended here on Sunday.

The government plans to increase electricity billing rates by an average of 7.6 percent as of next month, a policy which has met widespread criticism.

SGP officials said the price hikes would automatically raise printing costs, especially for newspapers and books. These are vital in the support of Indonesia's campaign to improve its human resources.

The congress, which re-elected Budi Santosa and Bernard Soedarmara as SGP chairman and secretary general respectively, reaffirmed SGP's policy focusing on development of human resources in the field of graphics.

Closing the congress, the ministry of information's Director General for Press and Graphics, Subrata, said media-printing companies were required by laws to become members of SGP.

According to statistics at the ministry, of Indonesia's 6,390 printing companies, 116 are press printing.

Subrata's warning was a response to a request from the congress which insisted on the government's involvement to ensure that all printing companies join the association. (pwn)