The Association of Indian Magazines (AIM) has requested the Government of India to withdraw the GST of 12% levied on lightweight coated paper (LWC) or bring it down to 5%.
In his letter dated July 11th, 2017 to the Revenue Secretary, Dr. Hasmukh Adhia, the President of The Association, Mr. R Rajmohan has mentioned that as per GST, there is a 5% IGST on SNP and GNP and 12% IGST on LWC, on imports and an equivalent CGST plus SGST on domestic purchase.
Before the implementation of GST, there was no tax on newsprint (on SNP, GNP and LWC up to 70 gsm) as Actual Users with RNI numbers were exempted from Excise, Customs, VAT and other Central or State Taxes.
Light Weighted Coated paper (LWC) up to 70 gsm is only used by magazines and newspapers.. As paper constitutes over 60% of production costs, the industry overall would get affected due to increase in input costs.
The letter from AIM also refers to the Press & Registration of Books Act of 1867, and requests for a parity between magazines and newspapers since both come under the category of ‘newspapers’ under the aforementioned act. Moreover, both newspapers and magazines play a crucial role in opinion building.
It also highlighted the fact that the print media industry, both newspapers and magazines, is going through hard times due to the slowdown in the economy and rising input costs and contemplated that it is extremely unfair to discriminate the magazine industry at this point of difficult times.
The Association of Indian Magazines (AIM) is the only national association for magazine publishers in the country and is affiliated to the worldwide magazine association, FIPP, based out of London.
AIM plans to further its case by meeting the Revenue Secretary and the Finance Ministry in the coming weeks.