SRS demands financial package for print media

JAMMU, Jun 11: With the print media facing an “unprecedented crisis”, the Shri Ram Sena, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajiv Mahajan has demanded financial package to help the sector.

Mahajan said the newspaper industry is facing an “unprecedented crisis” with no advertising revenue and huge input costs.

As the coronavirus lockdown was imposed on March 25, Rajiv Mahajan said newspapers have cut down their pages to unprecedented levels with many merging weekend supplements to the main editions.

“Despite these measures, newspapers are losing money every single day,” he said.

He, according to the sources, said that some of the treasury officers said that print and electronic media is not an essential service and failed to clear their pending dues for the last five months.

He reminded such officers to read the guidelines issued by Central Government on March 25, 2020 in which it said print and electronic media are an essential service whose operational continuity should be maintained.

He urged the Lt General Girish Chandra Murmu to instruct the Information Department and treasury officers of Jammu to clear all the pending dues of print media immediately so that they pay monthly salaries to their employees timely for their day-today activities during the pandemic.

He also demanded increase in budget spend for print media and immediate settlement of payment towards all outstanding bills of advertising from Information Department of J&K UT.

“Many small and medium Newspapers have already suspended publishing and other newspapers are facing serious challenges and if they collapse, it is bound to affect the domestic newsprint manufacturing industry too. Such a situation will have a ripple effect thus affecting large number of employees, their families as well as allied industries, printing presses, distribution mechanism, newspaper vendors and delivery boys,” he said.

Mahajan said the Indian newspaper industry is putting in their best efforts at personal risk in disseminating news to ensure readers get essential information day after day in these challenging times.

Mahajan urged the Prime Minister Nerandra Modi and Lt Government GC Murmu to announce a relief package for the survival of a print media.

 “The Central Government had already announced an 20 lakh crore package and has assured further reliefs to businesses which are critically affected by the present situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.

We believe that the above package of relief measures would help the print media to withstand this unprecedented crisis, he added.

He urged J&K government to immediately clear all pending payments on account of the long outstanding advertising dues owed by the government to the print media, so that these may be disbursed by them against outstanding wage payments due to newspaper employees.

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