APNS rejects 10 % GST on newsprint import

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DNA

ISLAMABAD: The APNS strongly rejects imposition of 10% GST on import of newsprint and urges upon the Federal Government to continue exemption of GST to the print media.

Mrs Nazafreen Saigol Lakhani President and Sarmad Ali Secretary General of All Pakistan Newspapers Society in a joint statement have stated that the imposition of the GST on newsprint imported by newspaper industry would be disastrous for the survival of the already crisis ridden print media.They stated that the  newsprint and other inputs used by newspapers are all imported and due to unprecedented depriciation of Pak rupee the costs of newspapers have enormously increased. This has consequently resulted in the increase of cover price of newspapers which has badly affected their circulations. The financial crunch has been further exacerbated by the non payment of long outstanding dues of print media by the Federal and provincial governments.

 The APNS office bearers stated that the newspaper industry was expecting  measures to provide relief including 35% increase in the long overdue government advertisement rates but instead GST has been levied in the financial bill announced by the Finance Minister.

The APNS stated that print media is the fourth pillar of the state and serves the nation by protecting peoples right to know and expression. It is therefore obligatory on government to support the access of the people to information especially in a time of misinformation and disinformation.

The APNS requests the Prime Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif to instruct the Finance Minister to withdraw the GST on newsprint.