Magazine publishers gear up to revoke 12% GST on LWC paper

Demands for magazines to be treated at par with newspapers

352
Magazine

After firing a letter to the Union Revenue Secretary asking for the removal of 12% goods and services tax (GST) on lightweight coated paper (LWC), magazine publishers are gearing up for a long-drawn struggle with the government. Though industry sources indicated that a meeting is being sought with Hasmukh Adhia later this week, the publishers are aware of the fact that the Revenue Secretary alone will not be able to reverse the decision. Being pragmatic, magazine representatives don’t expect relief in less than two-three months’ time during which they would have to bear the increased taxation burden.

Given the scenario, publishers will seek the retrospective removal of the tax since it came into effect on 1 July. Industry sources agreed that the government will not respond easily because the policy formulation has already happened. However, the magazines are pinning their hopes on Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu and I&B secretary NK Sinha. They expect the MIB to recommend their case to the GST council for further consideration.

Kerala Finance Minister TM Thomas Isaac and his West Bengal counterpart Amit Mitra are being zeroed in as individuals who could push the case of publishers before the GST council because the final decision rests with that body. In a letter addressed to the Revenue Secretary on 11 July, the Association of Indian Magazines (AIM) had come down heavily on the government’s decision to levy a higher tax rate on LWC paper. The association demanded that magazines be treated at par with newspapers as per the provisions of the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867. “We request you to please withdraw the GST levied on LWC paper up to 70 gsm completely or at least bring it to 5% and ensure parity with newspapers,” said the letter.

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here