Representational image | Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg
Representational image | Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg
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The decision will be a boost for small and medium newspapers, who have been under pressure due to rising global prices of newsprint.

New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government has announced a hike of 25 per cent in advertisement rates for the print media, which will come as a bonanza for small and medium newspapers, including several in regional and vernacular languages.

The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting announced the hike Tuesday, and said the Bureau of Outreach and Communication (BOC), earlier known as DAVP, will be in charge of its implementation.

The decision will come into effect from Tuesday itself, according to a statement issued by the government.

“The last such revision had taken place in 2013, when an increase of 19 per cent had been announced over and above the rates of 2010,” the statement read.

The government said the decision was taken on the basis of the recommendations made by the Eighth Rate Structure Committee, constituted by the ministry. The panel took into account several factors, including the increase in the price of newsprint, processing charges, and other factors which go into the computation of advertisement rates.

It is learnt that the committee — which had representatives from the BOC and the ministries of I&B and finance, among other bodies — was constituted last year to look into the rates. The report was submitted in December 2018.

Also read: Modi govt’s move deepens crisis for Indian newspapers as newsprint prices also peak

Long-standing demand

There were long-pending demands from several small and medium newspapers to hike the advertisement rates. Global newsprint prices went up significantly after China stopped producing it, citing environmental concerns, and began importing.

“In fact, the Indian Newspaper Society had demanded that the rates be hiked by 50-80 per cent,” a senior I&B ministry official told ThePrint.

ThePrint had earlier reported that globally, newsprint prices have gone up by more than $200 per ton in the last two years, and the current cost of newsprint varies from $675 to $750 per ton, depending on its origin.

Last year, the finance ministry had issued an office memorandum, stating that only online advertisements of tenders will be allowed with immediate effect, a move that would hurt the newspaper industry.

Also read: How China’s fight against pollution torpedoed India’s newspaper industry

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