The Indian Newspaper Society Monday urged the government to withdraw 10 per cent customs duty imposed on newsprint, uncoated paper used for printing newspapers and light weight coated papers used for magazines.
Publishers of newspapers and magazines are already reeling under severe financial pressure due to many factors like lower advertisement revenues, higher costs and digital onslaught from technological giants, the INS said in a statement.
Small and medium newspapers will go into deeper losses and many of them will be forced to close down, it said.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced in her Budget speech that customs duty of 10 per cent will be levied on imported newsprint, uncoated and lightly coated paper.
The total consumption of newsprint in India is estimated at 2.50 million tonnes per annum and the capacity of the domestic industry is only 1.0 million tonnes.
There are no domestic manufacturers of uncoated (glazed) and light weight coated (LWC) paper, the INS said.
"So, the INS calls for urgent intervention of the government to save Indian newspaper industry by scrapping the unbearable burden imposed on it," the statement said.