All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) calls for General Sales Tax (GST) exemption on news-print import -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) calls for General Sales Tax (GST) exemption on news-print import

KARACHI- The All Newspapers Society (APNS), urged the federal government to immediately exempt general sales tax and customs duty on the of newsprint to give newspaper industry, the much-sought relief against the unprecedented hike of newsprint prices in the international market.

In a press release, Secretary General APNS, Arshad A Zuberi said that the high-powered committee of the APNS, which met under the chairmanship of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, President, APNS, noted with concern that newsprint prices in the international market had increased from $480 to $755 per metric ton, resulting in unbearable financial crunch for newspaper industry.

This has made it almost impossible for majority of newspaper to continue with their publications, he said. The crisis has been further aggravated by consistent depreciation of Pak rupee viz a viz the US dollar, he added.

Zuberi said that the meeting noted the APNS has time and again urged upon the federal government to exempt the import of newsprint from the sales tax and customs duty so that the newspapers could be able to bear the increased financial burden to some extent.

The committee pointed out that the issue was placed by the APNS before Chief Executive General Pervaiz Musharraf at the APNS Awards ceremony held on October 2, 2000 wherein the chief executive had advised the concerned ministries to solve the problems on priority basis. The members present at the meeting noted with regret that despite assurances by the government, the Finance Minister has announced to waive off 2.5 per cent excise duty on the import of newsprint which is just a joke since the excise duty is a peanut amount as compared to the financial burden caused by the newsprint price hike and the depreciation of Pak rupee.

Zuberi said that the high-powered committee has decided to take up the issue with the chief executive for immediate redressal of the problem faced by fourth pillar of the state and hoped the government of General Pervaiz Musharraf would come to rescue of the newspaper industry from the financial crunch faced by it and exempt GST and customs duty on import of newsprint without further delay.

The.meeting was attended by Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, President; Zia Shahid, Vice President; Arshad A Zuberi, Secretary General; Mujeebur Rehman Shami, daily Pakistan; Syed Fasih lqbal, daily Balochistan Times; Kazi Muhammad Aslam, daily Kawish; Masood Hamid/Shabbir Gangat, daily Dawn; and Waqar Yousuf Azeerni, Joint Secretary, APNS.
Source: The News