Publishers plead relief from Indian newsprint duty

A new duty on imported newsprint has brought an immediate response from publishers.

President of the Association of Indian Magazines R Rajmohan - who is also CMO North of Malayala Manorama - has asked for a meeting with finance minister

Nirmala Sitharaman, who included the ten per cent duty in her maiden budget last Friday, AFAQS has reported.

Rajmohan described the customs duty on paper used by newspapers and magazines as "highly unfortunate".

"This is a double whammy for print media which is going through unprecedented crises due to declining revenues, caused by the prevailing macro economic conditions," he said. "At this point of time it is a massive cost impact.

"Paper being a major element in the cost, any rise in cost will have huge negative implications. There was no duty and now there is a ten per cent duty."

He said there were reasons why the industry enjoyed some benefits, "being in the space of knowledge and information dissemination.

"Increase in cover prices is already an issue and the prices have gone up for newspapers and magazines."

He said Malaya Manorama had a price of Rs 7.50 for weekdays and Rs 8 for Sunday. "We have almost reached a point where passing the burden on to the readers has become unviable and not advisable."

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