Indian Newspaper Society seeks rollback of newsprint duty

Updated: Jul 09, 2019, 07:46 IST | A Corespondent |

The total consumption of newsprint in India is estimated to be 2.50 million tonnes per year but the capacity of the domestic industry is only 1.0 million tonnes

Total consumption of newsprint in India is estimated to be 2.50 million tonnes per year. Representation Pic
Total consumption of newsprint in India is estimated to be 2.50 million tonnes per year. Representation Pic

The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has requested the Centre to withdraw the 10 per cent customs duty imposed on newsprint —uncoated paper used for printing newspapers and light-weight coated papers used for magazines. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the levy of duty in her maiden budget speech on July 5.

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, Mary Paul, the officiating secretary general of INS said in a statement, adding that small and medium newspapers will go into deeper losses and several will be forced to close down.

The total consumption of newsprint in India is estimated to be 2.50 million tonnes per year but the capacity of the domestic industry is only 1.0 million tonnes. Further, no domestic manufacturer produces uncoated (glazed) and light-weight coated (LWC) paper.

"So, the INS calls for urgent intervention of the government to save the Indian newspaper industry by scrapping the unbearable burden imposed on it," said Paul.

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