THE Government on Wednesday announced special customs duty exemptions for the newspaper and magazine publishing industry. These concessions have been announced in view of the current economic slowdown particularly affecting the newspaper industry.
The concessions announced in an official notification by the Finance Ministry include: full exemption in customs duty on newsprint as well as on uncoated paper used for printing of newspapers, commonly known as ‘glazed newsprint’, and also full exemption in customs duty on light weight coated paper used for printing magazines.
The newspaper and magazine publishing sector had sought relief from the Government in wake of the sharp rise in international prices of newsprint and light weight coated paper (used for publishing magazines), which had resulted in a significant increase in publishing costs. Falling advertising revenues due to the recent economic slowdown have also afflicted this sector.
The Government had earlier provided a concessional customs duty rate of 3 per cent on newsprint with effect from April 29, 2008. Lightweight coated (LwC) paper attracts concessional customs duty of 5 per cent. Owing to full exemption from excise duty, these items would not attract countervailing duty. They are also exempt from the special additional duty of 4 per cent.