COVID-19 impact: INS writes to FM seeking relief for print media
The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has written to the Indian Government seeking its support to deal with the surmounting challenges faced by print media with the COVID-19 crisis at hand. Print media is under assault from all directions with distribution bottlenecks due to COVID-19, high cost of importing newsprint and shrinking advertiser support.
The letter addressed to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has been written by INS president, Shailesh Gupta, promoter of leading Hindi daily Dainik Jagran. As per the recommendations of the letter, the INS has urged the Finance Minister to remove the 5% import duty on newsprint to ease the burden on the print media players.
The letter states that these measures are critical for the survival of domestic newspapers in India, especially local papers citing the example of Afternoon Dispatch and Courier which had shut down recently.
Another local Hindi newspaper ‘Hamara Mahanagar’ was forced to close its shutters because it was unable to pay back its stakeholders.
India remains one of the few countries where print media continues to grow albeit at a snail’s pace.