Some publishing houses and print media stop operating – Pajhwok Afghan News


KABUL (Pajhwok): In the past two months, 35 printing plants and some print media have ceased to operate, an official said on Tuesday.

Ahmad Fardin Ziae, head of the state-run general publishing house, told Pajhwok Afghan News that 250 publishing houses have been licensed in the capital Kabul, most of which are in the private sector.

He said, however, that in the past two months, due to regime change and economic problems, 35 publishing houses have ceased to operate.

He urged the introduction of a mechanism by which the problems of these publishing houses are resolved and they could resume operations.

Referring to the functioning of the state-run publishing house, he said: “Currently the demand has decreased and we have machines with maximum capacity. We have no raw materials, our country depends on imports which have drastically decreased.

He said that the printing equipment of a number of state institutions had shut down and they were relying on online services.

Ziae said: “We are working to resume our printing activities in the coming week, which have a direct link with the government. When the markets open, the private sector begins to pour in money and the ports resume operations and import issues are resolved, printing press issues are also taken care of.

Safiullah Mullahkhel, the print shop in charge of the Da Afghanistan Times, said they started operating in 2009, but in the past two months they had no business and the print shop was closed.

We have two newspapers – The Afghanistan Times and Dunya Daily – each published in Pashto, Dari and English and we have a publishing house called Afghanistan Times.

He said that before the Taliban took control 100,000 daily pages were printed, but now nothing is printed. Twenty people worked in the printing press, most of whom lost their jobs.

Each institution has a policy through which it has a cash reserve. “We have a cash reserve that can help us for three to four months, and then we will run out of cash.”

He called on the government to provide support to vulnerable printing plants to prevent their collapse.


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