NEW DELHI, JULY 9: The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has asked the Union Government to withdraw the 10% customs duty imposed on newsprint, uncoated paper used for printing newspapers and lightweight coated papers used for magazines, pointing out that it has imposed an “unbearable burden” on the industry.
It also highlighted the issue of inadequate availability of some kinds of newsprint, and total unavailability of some others in the country, creating the need for imports.
In a statement issued on Monday, the officiating Secretary General of the Indian Newspaper Society Mary Paul said: “Publishers of newspapers and magazines are already reeling under severe financial pressure due to many factors like lower advertisement revenues, higher costs and digital onslaught from technological giants. Small and medium newspapers will go into deeper losses and many of them will be forced to close down.”
The Union Budget announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said a 10% custom duty will be levied on imported newsprint and uncoated paper used for printing of newspapers and lightweight coated paper used for magazines.
Seeking urgent intervention by the Government “to save Indian newspaper industry”
by scrapping the “unbearable burden imposed on it”, the Indian Newspaper Society pointed out that the total consumption of newsprint in India is estimated at 2.50 million tonnes per annum and the capacity of the domestic industry is only 1.0 million tonnes.
“In the case of uncoated (glazed) and lightweight coated (LWC) paper there are no domestic manufacturers,” the statement said. (Courtesy: HT)