The government has announced Customs duty exemptions for the newspaper and magazine publishing industry, which has been hit by the current economic slowdown.
In a notification, the finance ministry today exempted “newsprint” as well as “uncoated paper used for printing of newspapers” from Customs duty. It also exempted “light weight coated paper used for printing magazines” from the duty.
The newspaper and magazine publishing sector had sought relief from the government due to a sharp rise in international prices of newsprint and light weight coated paper.
This had resulted in a steep increase in publishing costs. Falling advertising revenues due to the recent economic slowdown have also affected the sector.
The government had earlier provided a concessional Customs duty rate of 3 per cent for newsprint. The concessional Customs duty rate for light weight coated paper is 5 per cent.
The government has also decided to raise the advertising rates of the Directorate General of Audio Visual Publicity, or DAVP, by 15 per cent. In addition, it has decided to remove the 15 per cent discount on these advertisements. These decisions will be announced tomorrow.
Last October, the rates were raised by 24 per cent.