Publishers seek customs duty waiver as newsprint cost shoots up

New Delhi, March 5 (IANS) Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has urged the government to waive the 5 per cent customs duty on newsprint as publishers have come under a financial strain due to the escalation in costs.

The INS said that a combination of factors such as geopolitical uncertainties, logistics, rupee depreciation and customs duty had affected the price and availability of newsprint, creating a formidable burden for publishers.

“The escalation in the conflict in West Asia and the Russia-Ukraine war has significantly impacted the global supply chain,” a statement cited INS President Rakesh Sharma, as saying.

It said that the continuous targeting of ships in the Red Sea region has also exacerbated the situation, leading to disruptions in the transportation of essential commodities, including newsprint.

“As a result, the newsprint suppliers are cancelling the earlier confirmed orders of the publishers. Many newsprint mills in India and across the world have either suspended or ceased their operations, causing concerns about the supply of newsprint in India,” the INS said.

It said that the fluctuating currency exchange rates contribute to the rising costs of importing newsprint, thereby straining the financial viability of newspapers and publications.

“This measure, if withdrawn, would provide much-needed relief to the print media industry, allowing publishers to manage their operational costs more effectively,” the statement added.



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