Kozhikode, Apr 17 (UNI) Stating that vernacular dailies were facing closure due to acute shortage of newsprint, Indian Newspaper Society (Kerala Region) today said it would take up the issue in Parliament to find a lasting solution to the crisis.
Talking to newspersons after a meeting of the INS (KR) here, chairman M P Veerendra Kumar, MP, said this was mainly because of stoppage of newsprint import from the US due to recession in that country.
Import from China, about 25 per cent of the total requirement, had also came down drastically after that country hiked price of the product.
The situation further aggravated with the Hindustan Newsprint Limited (HNL) slapping a 40 per cent hike in the prices of newsprint from Rs 28,000 to 38,000 per tonne.
About 14 lawmakers representing various political parties and newspaper industry would raise the issue in both the Houses of Parliament, he said.
Besides, INS (KR) had sought an appointment with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to apprise them of the grave situation faced by the vernacular dailies in the country.
The meeting urged the Centre to waive five per cent customs duty imposed on newsprint.
The INS (KR) representatives would also meet Kerala Chief Minister V S Achutanandan to seek his help to exempt the industry from the Value Added Tax (VAT) net.
It also urged the Centre to drop the proposed Broadcasting Bill, which it said, would be against the freedom of the press in the country, he added.
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