Friday, February 27, 2009

India announces ‘fiscal stimulus package’ for newspapers

In a major relief measure for the newspaper industry hit by plummeting advertisements’ revenue due to the economic slowdown, the Indian government on Friday announced a “fiscal stimulus package” in the form of a 25 percent hike in its advertisements rates through the Directorate of Audio Visual Publicity (DAVP) agency and abolished the three percent customs duty on newsprint and glazed paper for magazines. The new increase would only be in place up to June 30, Information Minister Anand Sharma said. He said the government elicited an assurance from the newspapers that they would not resort to retrenchment or downsizing. The two components of the relief package are: the waiver of 15 percent agency commission on DAVP advertisements; and a 10 percent increase in the current DAVP rates, subject to proof of loss of revenue in non-governmental advertisements as compared to that of last year.

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