INS asks govt to withdraw 10% customs duty on newsprint

 The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) on Friday appealed to the government to withdraw 10% customs duty imposed on newsprint, to save newspapers. (AFP Photo)

 The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) on Friday appealed to the government to withdraw 10% customs duty imposed on newsprint, to save newspapers.

"It appears that the Indian newsprint manufacturers have misrepresented to the government that they are in a position to meet the entire requirements," the INS said in a statement.

The total consumption of standard newsprint in India is 2.5 million tonnes and the Indian mills have a capacity of 1.0 million tonnes only.

"Last year, there was a severe shortage of newsprint worldwide 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 INS said.

In the case of uncoated (glazed) and lightweight coated, there is no domestic capacity at all, it said.
 
The quality of indigenous newsprint is also "considerably" inferior to that of imported newsprint. This restricts its usage on modern printing presses.

"Hence, INS calls for urgent intervention by the government to save Indian newspaper industry by scrapping this unbearable burden imposed on it," the Society said, after its executive committee held an emergency meeting on the issue.

 

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