Posted by Katie Nathan
If you have postponed taking a photocopy of an important document to the last-minute, secure in the knowledge that there is always that shop next door, you might be in trouble. As per an order issued by the Union government recently, the import of second-hand digital multifunction print and copying machines used in most neighbourhood photocopying centres, is to be banned across the country, and they are to be phased out by 2013.
The increasing shortage of these machines in the market has dealt a body-blow to many small-time photocopiers. “The cost of printing may have come down over the years, but the costs of the machine and paper have gone up,” says S. Jayakumar, who runs Kumaran Xerox Centre in Triplicane. His major source of income, till a month ago, came from the photocopier, as the cyber café and telephone booth that he runs, no longer attract many users. “The machine needs to be replaced now, but dealers say there is a shortage,” he says.