- NL Sena
'Media's activity is essential, and our newspapers are going above and beyond their call of duty in this pandemic,' the society said.
The Indian Newspaper Society wrote a letter to finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, asking for "urgent relief for the collapsing newspaper sector".
Dated March 24, the letter said the sector was hit by a "triple whammy of coronavirus, plummeting advertising, and customs duty on newsprint".
"Media's activity is essential, and our newspapers are going above and beyond their call of duty in this pandemic, with editorial and other colleagues...putting themselves at great personal risk to be at the front lines, to ensure readers get life-saving and other essential information day after day, in the safety of their homes," the letter said.
It also pointed out that last year, well-known English newspapers like DNA and Financial Chronicle shut their print editions, while Mumbai's Afternoon Despatch and Courier shut down entirely, and said there needs to be a "level playing field between foreign digital giants and domestic Indian newspapers".
The letter requested a "two-year tax holiday on newspapers" and the removal of all import duty on newsprint, in order to support the domestic print media "which has played such an inspiring role in our independence struggle and has stood strong in every national emergency, including the current one".
Read the letter in full here.
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