New Delhi: The Indian Newspaper Society, which petitioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi to grant a two-year tax holiday on media businesses, bump up DAVP advertisement rates and increase government’s advertising outlay, has also urged the government to settle outstanding bills that central ministries owe to the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP), which in turn pays media organisations for running advertising campaigns for ministries.
Dues totalling more than Rs 350 crore have not been paid to DAVP by various central ministries despite repeated requests by the INS and the Association of Radio Operators of India (AROI), which have demanded release of outstanding money for the bleeding print and broadcast sectors.
Industry sources said some pending payments related to ad campaigns nearly 4-5 years ago. The health ministry, sources said, owes over Rs 61 crore to DAVP.
The Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) echoed INS’s demand for a bailout package, requesting the government to allow advertisers to treat advertising money as investments and allow it to spread expenditure incurred in advertising over three years.
AAAI’s demands for government intervention comes on the heels of persistent requests by media organisations to the Centre to clear outstanding DAVP dues and announce a bailout package for the industry.
AAAI has sought the government’s intervention to permit a loaded deduction of 200% on advertising expenditure, a move that is likely to encourage advertisers, both publicly listed and private, to advertise sooner and essay a faster economic recovery.
In a letter to the Union government, the AAAI also demanded that the government clear its outstanding bills by way of income tax and GST refunds. To help the industry, AAAI said payments should not be taxed, and directions should be given to banks and advertising sector’s debtors to provide cash flow to meet essential expenses.
Demands for relief packages have also been raised by Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) and News Broadcasters Association (NBA). While INS sought removal of 5% customs duty on newsprint, two-year tax holiday for newspaper establishments, 50% increase in DAVP advertisement rates and 100% increase in budget spend for print media, NBA sought waiver of 18% GST on advertisements, or for it to be lowered to 5% to bring it on par with print media.

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