Written press: In relief for the written press, the government of Gujarat pays contributions until March

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MUMBAI: The Indian newspaper industry, which suffers monthly losses of more than Rs 2,000 crore due to the Covid-19 pandemic, gained some support in Gujarat after the state government, in Following the intervention of Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, paid the contributions of the written press until March.

Speaking to a news house, Rupani said his government would wipe out pending payments due for all government ads released through April if the state’s cash flow remained stable.

Rupani told the outlet that newspapers are the biggest and best source of true, accurate and credible information.

“Keeping people away from fake news and presenting the real picture is the need of the moment. The government believes it is crucial to support newspapers in these difficult times, ”Rupani said.

The move will provide some breathing space for print media, which lost around 4,500 crore in March and April.

The newspaper industry, directly and indirectly, employs around 3 million people.

Media experts believe the decision of the BJP-led state government is a positive sign for the industry, and that the central government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is likely to take a similar call soon.

The central government and various departments owe Rs 1,500 to 1,800 crore to the Indian media industry, whose dues to the printing industry alone amount to Rs 800 crore.

Last week, Prakash Javadaker, Minister of Information and Broadcasting, told a high-level delegation from the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) that the government is speeding up the payment process and around 135 crore already has been handed over to media companies.

The newspaper industry has been severely affected by the pandemic and the Indian Newspaper Society (INS), which represents more than 800 newspapers, said losses are expected to continue at the same rate over the next six to seven months. , which implies an additional loss of 12,000 to 15,000 crore, unless a robust stimulus package is implemented.

Newspapers have been hit hard due to disruptions in the supply chain, a sharp drop in advertising and also the imposition of a 5% tariff on newsprint.

All of these factors have led to a situation where many small and medium-sized newspapers have already suspended publication, while others have drastically reduced the number of pages, creating an existential crisis for many small players in one of the last markets. dynamic newspapers to the world.

In recent weeks, there have been repeated appeals from stakeholders urging the government to urgently release pending payments from the Office of Outreach and Communication (BOC, formerly DAVP).


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