The Association of Indian Magazines (AIM), which represents the Indian magazine industry, has sent a pre-budget memorandum to Finance Minister P Chidambaram. The Association has requested for introduction of special rate for postal transmission of magazines.
AIM has requested for special registration charges for magazines to be introduced, costing around Rs 5 per article. “Most publishers would find even that very high. But in the interest of readers, we request that this special rate be introduced,” said AIM.
The Association has also requested to ensure that light-weight coated (LWC) paper up to 70 grams per square metre (GSM) be recognised on the same platform as that of newsprint used for printing and publishing of periodicals and magazines, which are recognised by the Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI). AIM has requested to continue the treatment in the ensuing finance bill too.
AIM has also requested that LWC paper import of up to 80 GSM be permitted, instead of the present ceiling of 70 GSM LWC, as this would ensure that Indian magazines also are available with great quality production and can compete more effectively with international magazines. In the memorandum, AIM also brought to light that LWC paper up to 80 GSM was not being manufactured in India.
AIM also requested that since literacy rate in India was going up, and to provide news magazines at affordable price to the people, the cost of paper for printing periodicals and news magazines needed to be kept low, as paper cost accounted for major percentage of total production cost.
All publishing industries, especially the magazine publishing industry, have more service costs, in terms of travel, boarding and lodging, conveyance, newsgathering expenses, entertainment and more. Hence, AIM has made a request to treat these costs on par with the concessions given to the software industry for all purposes to charging the fringe benefit tax (FBT).