The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) had urgently appealed for a reconsideration of the five per cent Customs Duty on Newsprint. The INS emphasized the critical role of the print media industry in disseminating affordable knowledge, aiding government communication, and maintaining trust amidst online misinformation. The INS highlighted the significance of sustaining the print media industry in the world’s largest democracy.

The plea came in response to challenges faced by publishers, as disruptions in the supply and pricing of Newsprint unfolded. Global geopolitical uncertainties, logistical complexities, the depreciation of the Indian rupee, and prevailing customs duties on Newsprint collectively burdened publishers. Escalating conflicts in the Midwest and the Russia-Ukraine crisis severely impacted the global supply chain, causing Newsprint shortages. Ongoing concerns in the Red Sea, with cargo ships targeted, further hindered the transportation of essential commodities.

Newsprint suppliers had been cancelling confirmed orders, and mills worldwide, including in India, had suspended operations, threatening the Newsprint supply. The declining value of the Indian rupee had amplified challenges for the print media sector, heavily reliant on imports. Fluctuating currency exchange rates had escalated Newsprint import costs, straining newspapers’ financial viability.