The Indian Newspaper Society has asked the central government to provide an incentive package to the newspaper industry which it says has already lost ₹4,000-4,500 crore in the past 2 months. It added the newspaper industry risks losing up to ₹15,000 crores in the next 6-7 months. Indian Newspaper Society also sought a 2 year tax holiday for newspaper institution and removal of 5% customs duty on newsprint.
In a letter to the Information & Broadcasting Secretary, the Indian Newspaper Society said the newspaper industry has hardly any revenues coming in from either advertising or circulation is among the worst affected industry in India, due to the nation-wide lockdown in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Indian Newspaper Society president Shailesh Gupta signed a letter to the Information & Broadcasting Secretary which says that the newspaper industry has lost more than Rs 4000-4500 crore in the last 2 months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since all the economic activity has nearly crumbled and there is no likelihood of advertising or circulation from the private sector, the losses are supposed to continue at the same rate for the next 6-7 months (entail an extra loss of Rs 12,000 – 15,000 crore over the next 6-7 months), if the central government does not implement a strong stimulus.
Indian Newspaper Society also asked the central government to withdraw 5% customs duty on newsprint.
Indian Newspaper Society said the losses in the newspaper industry already arouse have had very severe backlash for the 30 lakh workers and staff who are directly & indirectly connected with the newspaper industry — which includes journalists, printers, delivery vendors, and many others, which represents over 800 newspapers.
According to Indian Newspaper Society calculations, newspapers provide direct & indirect employment to more than 10 lakh people and over 20 lakh people respectively.
Indian Newspaper Society president Shailesh Gupta also asked the central government to provide 2 years tax holiday for newspaper institutions, and a 50% increase in advertising rate of Bureau of Outreach and Communication.