CPI MP Demands Withdrawal of Customs Duty on Newsprint
Updated: Jul 15, 2019
CPI National Council Secretary Binoy Viswam, M.P. demanded withdrawal of imposition of Customs Duty on Newsprint raising the issue as a special mention in Rajya Sabha. The following is the text:
The budget proposal to impose ten percent customs duty on newsprint poses a big threat to the newspaper industry. It may even lead to the shutdown of several newspapers in the country. Earlier, there was no import duty on newsprint. Last year newspapers faced a shock when the cost of newsprint went up to 40 to 60 percent when China stopped newsprint production, as part of its effort to contain excess pollution. Now this imposition of ten percent customs duty, will affect their very existence. Imposing any levy on such an industry which is on stress cannot be appreciated. This move will kill many of the small scale newspapers. As a person who worked as the editor of Janayugam daily, run by the Communist Party of India, in Malayalam, I know the day to day difficulties of a small scale newspaper. The survival of newspaper industry is a must for democracy to exist in our country. The government should approach the matter as an issue of people’s right to information. People need newspapers to continue, as the mirror of their aspirations. It should not be broken. Hence I request the government to withdraw the proposal for imposing ten percent duty on newsprint.