Printing businesses suffering ahead of polls

LAHORE: Election activities are at their peak, but people involved in the banner and flex boards businesses say ECP’s code of conduct has caused a significant drop in their earnings.

Around 28,000 panaflex printing machines have been installed in Lahore with businessmen investing millions of rupees ahead of elections. However, all of them are now facing severe problems.

One of the main reasons is the ban on larger sized flex boards. Mian Idrees, a printer, tells Express News that the market is not favourable at the moment.

Season of politics: Election camps bustling with activity

“Numerous printers bought rollers on credit, but they don’t have work. Banners worth hundreds of thousands of rupees were printed by a single candidate contesting for general elections 2013. However, in 2018, the orders have totaled just Rs3 million.

Idress went on to explain that larger flex boards were prepared previously. He added that if a constituency has 5,000 poles, larger flexes would be printed for them.

He added the competition spurred candidates to produce larger boards than their opponents, but now the size has been restricted to 2X3.

He said candidates are getting the flex boards prepared in same quantity, but the reduction in size has led to more than half percent of minimisation in cost.

Season of politics: Election camps bustling with activity

Another businessman, Mian Zahid, said that the business of those preparing pamphlets and posters has ended. He added paper printing presses have shut down and those preparing stickers of smaller sizes are thriving. The supporters of candidates are getting stickers printed in millions and one round sticker costs around Rs1 these days. A a sticker of A4 size is prepared for Rs10.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2018.

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