INS urges government to scrap customs duty on newsprint

The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has urged the government to withdraw the 10% customs duty imposed on newsprint, uncoated paper and lightweight coated paper used in printing newspapers and magazines.

31 Jul 2019 | By PrintWeek India

The executive committee of the Indian Newspaper Society, which held an emergency meeting on 26 July, has called for an “urgent intervention by the government to save Indian newspaper industry by scrapping this unbearable burden imposed on it.”

The industry body said that the total consumption of standard newsprint in India is 2.5-million tonnes and the indigenous mills have a capacity of only 1-million tonnes. “It appears that the Indian newsprint manufacturers have misrepresented to the government that they are in a position to meet the entire requirement,” it said in a statement.

It also said that publishers of newspapers and magazines are already reeling under severe financial pressure due to factors such as low advertisement revenues, higher costs and digital onslaught from technological giants.

“Small and medium newspapers will go into deeper losses and many may be forced to shut down due to this imposition,” the INS has stated. “Last year, there was severe shortage of newsprint world-wide but the Indian industry was able to export only 12,726-tonnes of newsprint which shows that there was no idle capacity available in India and the newsprint capacity showcased by the local manufacturers to the government is fallacious.”

The industry body also pointed out that the quality of indigenous newsprint is considerably inferior to imported newsprint and that there is no domestic capacity for uncoated and lightweight coated newsprint.

(Courtesy agencies)