Indian government hikes print ad rates by 25%

More government support to print media

ad rates

The Indian government has announced a 25% hike in the ad rates for the print media including newspapers and magazines just in time to keep the media happy before the general election expected in April-May this year. “The decision will be of great benefit especially to the medium and small newspapers, including a large number of such papers in regional and vernacular languages,” the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said in a media statement. “The decision takes place with effect from today and will be valid for a period of three years.” The statement says that the increase takes into account various factors including the rise in cost of  newsprint.

The new rates go into effect in a general election year when political parties spend considerable amounts of money on newspaper and wide format signage advertising. The last revision in government ad rates was in 2013 just before the 2014 general election. At that time, the ad rates were revised upward by 19%.

According to an answer to a query in the Rajya Sabha last week on government ad spending in the media, it was stated that Rs 1,857 crore was spent on print advertisements in the last three years by the the Indian Bureau of Outreach and Communication. The IBOC which is the nodal agency for advertising by various ministries issued 11,798 release orders for a total ad spend of Rs. 648.82 crore in the financial year 2017-18.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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