Deccan Chronicle, the Hyderabad-based English daily, which is slated for launch in Chennai anytime now, has offered annual subscriptions at Rs 99 for ICICI bank's card holders in the city.
A help-line number has been announced through outdoor advertising for consumers to avail of the subscription offer. Through the offer, the bank's credit and debit cardholders can place an order for the subscription telephonically by giving their card numbers. They were informed on placing the order that copies of the daily would start reaching them in 21 days. The offer is said to be open till March 31.
The daily's introductory offer has raised questions about its ABC certification for this year for its Chennai edition. Deccan Chronicle had announced earlier that it would price the paper at Rs.1/-. At Rs 99 annually, the subscription cost delivers the paper at less than a third of its normal price.
N Murali, Joint Managing Director of The Hindu, said, "There is no way the ABC will accept such a huge discount. In addition to the discount offered, there are newspaper agents and hawkers to be paid as well."
The launch date of the Deccan Chronicle hasn't been announced as yet. While the newspaper was unavailable for comment, a senior source within the publication's Chennai office said, "We are not fixed on the launch dates as yet, and are currently tying up the back-end. We will freeze on the dates shortly and make an announcement."
Deccan Chronicle's top management is said to be arriving in Chennai shortly, and a decision on the launch dates is expected during the visit. The date of launch may be announced by March 21, according to sources.