'The newspaper industry has been fighting to survive in the era of digital media'
The Newspaper Owners’ Association of Bangladesh (Noab) urged the government to cut taxes on ailing newspaper industry to help it survive especially amid ongoing crisis.
The association, in its proposal to finance ministry in formulating national budget for FY2020-21, made the demand recently.
“The newspaper industry has been fighting to survive in the era of digital media. Moreover, the Covid-19 pandemic hardens the crisis and makes the situation worst,” said the association’s proposal letter.
The industry could not survive without government aid in the current crisis, it added.
It demanded reducing corporate tax on newspaper from existing 35% to 10%. Besides, the owners’ association urged the government to exempt the industry from existing 15% value added tax (Vat).
Among others, the organization demanded reducing tax deducted at source or source tax from existing 4% to 2% on advertisement revenue, exempting from 5% advance tax on paper raw materials, relaxing the newspaper owners from giving employees’ income taxes and taxes on house rents.
Noab also said the government declared the newspaper industry as service industry but the it yet to receive the facilities accordingly.
“In the current corona situation, the newspaper industry faced nominal earnings, as advertisement and sales of papers fell drastically. On the other hand the costs remained unchanged,” the association stated and said that several newspapers had to closed their operation due to the crisis.
If the government did not support the sector, it would fail to survive, it added.