Much to the disappointment of the newspaper publishers, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had no good news for the industry in the 2021 Union Budget. Hit by circulation issues in the wake of the ongoing pandemic that led to dwindling profits, the industry was looking forward to the waiver of 5% custom duty on newsprints. Unfortunately, there were no such announcements at the Union Budget.
Last year, print media players breathed a sigh of relief with a reduction of customs duty on newsprint from 10% to 5%. The slashing of the custom duty led to a sizeable reduction in costs for the publishers.
While there was no custom duty for the category before July 2019 those in newspaper businesses, the reduction announced last year was still welcome the move as it saved them anywhere between Rs1500 and Rs1700 per tonne of newsprint.