INS urges Govt. to scrap 10% customs duty on Newsprint
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INS urges Govt. to scrap 10% customs duty on Newsprint

July 28, 2019

New Delhi: The Executive Committee of the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) in its emergency meeting on July 26 appealed to the Government of India to withdraw the 10% customs duty imposed on newsprint, uncoated paper used for printing of newspapers and light-weight coated papers used for magazines.

The total consumption of standard newsprint in India is 2.5 mn tons and the indigenous mills have a capacity of 1.0 mn tons only. It appears that the Indian newsprint manufacturers have misrepresented to the Government that they are in a position to meet the entire requirements.  

Last year, there was severe shortage of Newsprint world-wide but the Indian industry was able to export only 12,726 tons 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.

In addition, the quality of indigenous Newsprint is considerably inferior to imported which restricts its usage on modern printing presses. The tearing of paper reels of domestic Newsprint on presses is more than 3 times as compared to imported. This leads to excessive wastage and loss of productivity. 

The reliability of supplies from domestic Newsprint mills is uncertain as many of these mills are facing show-cause notices from Central Pollution Board which poses serious risk to the business continuity of supplies from these mills.  

In case of uncoated (glazed) and light-weight coated  (LWC), there is no domestic capacity at all.

Publishers of newspapers and magazines are already reeling under severe financial pressure due to many factors like lower 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.

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Hence, the INS calls for urgent intervention by the Government to save Indian newspaper industry by scrapping this unbearable burden imposed on it, according to a press release from Mary Paul, Secretary General. 

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