The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) has taken several policy initiatives to further help the print industry to combat with some of the problems that it faced in the year. From its decision to allow publication of Indian editions of foreign magazines publishing news and comments on public news to the revision of the DAVP rates for advertisements, the MIB didn’t neglect print in the year.
During 2008, the MIB had decided to allow publication of Indian editions of foreign periodicals that came under the news and current affairs category. Even as Indian publishers can now print these editions with or without foreign investment, the MIB stipulated that publishers can draw foreign investment up to 26 per cent. The ceiling of total Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), which would include foreign direct investments by non-resident Indians, persons of Indian origin and portfolio investments by recognised Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs), together, is up to 26 per cent.
Revision of DAVP Rates for Advertisements and Ad Policy
The MIB also enhanced the existing rates for the DAVP advertisements by 24 per cent during the year, which became applicable for the advertisements released after September 1, 2008. All categories of newspapers and periodicals empanelled with DAVP are covered under the revised rates. The MB stated, “This decision would benefit more than 4000 newspapers and periodicals. The small and medium newspapers, among others, would however be benefiting most as the percentage of advertisements to be released to these categories of newspapers was increased earlier.”
The Government has earlier brought in changes in the Press Advertisement Policy to help the small and regional newspaper industry.
The quantum of advertisements was increased from 10 per cent to 15 per cent in case of small newspapers and from 30 to 35 per cent in case of medium newspapers, in money terms.
Minimum publication period requirement was reduced from 36 months to six months for regional languages newspapers in Bodo, Dogri, Garhwali, Khasi, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Manipuri, Mizo, Nepali, Rajasthani, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Urdu and Tribal Languages. Similar concession was extended to all newspapers in all languages published from backward, remote hilly and border areas and in J&K, Andaman Nicobar & the 8 North Eastern states.
Newspapers which achieve a massive one lakh circulation within one year of its publication are now considered for empanelment after one year of publication so that Government does not lose this huge readership for its messages.
Increased support to Urdu Newspapers has been ensured by earmarking 3.54 per cent of total allocation for print advertisement.