A day after 10 per cent customs duty on newsprint was announced in the Union Budget, the Association of Indian Magazines (AIM) on Saturday called it “highly unfortunate”, and a “double whammy for print media”.
The duty “on paper used by newspapers and magazines…is highly unfortunate”, the AIM said in a statement. It also said, “this is a double whammy for print media, which is going through unprecedented crises due to declining revenues, caused by the prevailing macroeconomic conditions”.
The AIM urged the government “to withdraw” the duty announced and “help the print media industry, which serves millions of readers by disseminating information and knowledge”.
There was no customs duty on newsprint until now. Most large newspaper groups in India import newsprint, as it costs cheaper than domestic newsprint. The customs duty on uncoated paper used for printing of newspapers and lightweight coated paper used for magazines have also been increased from zero to 10 per cent.
In the Budget, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday, the government had justified the increase as a means to “provide level playing field to domestic industry”.
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