The President of INS Shailesh Gupta has written to the Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to provide to the newspaper industry 2 years tax exemption, removal of 5% custom duty on newsprint and other relief measures during Corona Virus outbreak, which has hit the print media badly.
The package requested from the government includes a 50 % increase in advertisement rate of BOC and 100% increase in budget spend for Print Media in addition to the measures mentioned earlier. Another measure requested is immediate settlement of payment towards all outstanding bills of advertising, from BOC( DAVP) as well as various State Governments, who too may be advised accordingly.
The letter goes on to highlight the problems faced by the newspaper industry during Corona lockdown. These include Newspaper Industry is facing unprecedented crisis with no advertising revenue contributing to recession amidst the Covid 19 lockdown, heavy input costs and import duty on Newsprint. Newspapers have cut down their pages to unprecedented levels with many merging weekend supplements into main edition. Despite these measures, Newspapers are losing money every single day.
Unlike other essential goods like food, milk, groceries etc. where consumers pay in full and cover the costs, Newspapers cover only a fraction of their cost and the gap is normally made up through advertisements which have drastically gone down, besides Industries and Manufacturers are shut and has thus stopped advertising.
Many small and medium Newspapers have already suspended publishing and other newspapers are facing serious challenges and if they collapse, it is bound to affect the domestic Newsprint manufacturing industry too. Such a situation will have a ripple effect thus affecting large number of employees, their families as well as allied industries, Printing Presses, distribution mechanism, Newspaper vendors and delivery boys.
Shailesh Gupta further states that the Indian Newspaper Industry in these challenging times is putting in their best efforts at personal risk in disseminating news to ensure readers get essential information day after day.