Study Material | Test Series
Drishti IAS
call1800-121-6260 / 011-47532596
Drishti The Vision Foundation
(A unit of VDK Eduventures Pvt. Ltd.)
Q. Zero tax rate for newspaper in GST: Comment on the demand of zero tax rate for newspapers in GST.
Jan 21, 2017 Related to : GS Paper-2

Ans :

Introduction-

With recent consensus in Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council, it is expected that government will roll out new indirect tax regime with simple procedures and standard rates from coming July 1st. In this background many in print news industry are demanding for zero tax rate for newspaper in new GST regime. They have cited various economical and political reasons.  

Why Zero tax rate-?

  • Newspapers are vital to sustain democracy, especially in these times of social media gaining dominant position. In case of social media there is an inherent tendency for those who receive all their news and views from social media to find themselves confined to small bubbles in which the same views bounce around and keep out facts and arguments that challenge those views. 
  • Hence a shared public discourse is the cornerstone of democracy and that is what newspapers produce and reproduce each day. News editors curate news guided as much by their perception of what the reader ought to read as by their sense of what readers want to read, creating that vital, shared public discourse.
  • Currently total indirect tax on news paper is about 1%.  Any increase in tax rate would impact the smaller papers the worst and make them less competitive in comparison to bigger ones. 
  • A large news paper company that commands premium advertising would depend on the cover price far less than a smaller one, for example regional news paper.
  • As news papers play an important role in the democracy, hence any increase in tax rate will thin out the competition and hurts the democracy. Hence it is necessary to keep its tax rate at zero.

Conclusion-

In the backdrop of growth of TV and social media several media companies are reducing its staffs including editors. In democracy views from all the corners must be respected and heard. News papers plays vital role in that, hence it is necessary to keep their tax rate as low as possible. 


Helpline Number : 87501 87501
To Subscribe Newsletter and Get Updates.