The union government on Tuesday came to the rescue of small and medium newspapers by announcing a revised policy of releasing government advertisements. It also announced increased concessions to dailies published in regional languages like Urdu, Sindhi and Maithili.
The advertisement quota of the Directorate of Audio Visual Publicity (DAVP) for small papers has been increased from 10 per cent to 15 per cent and for medium newspapers from 30 per cent to 35 per cent, Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said in New Delhi on Tuesday.
The revised DAVP policy is focused on the special efforts to increase support through DAVP to newspapers in languages like Bodo, Dogri, Kashmiri, Khasi, Konkani, Maithili, Manipuri, Nepali, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Urdu, and tribal language newspapers published in Jammu and Kashmir, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and north-eastern states as well as those published in backward, hilly, border and remote areas.
The liberalised DAVP policy will benefit newspapers with circulations up to 25,000 copies. Advertisements worth $62 million (Rs 2.5 billion) are released annually by DAVP for the print media, and these include $12 million (Rs 0.5 billion) issued by the information and broadcasting ministry.
There are 62,483 newspapers accounting for gross circulation of more than 180 million in the country. Small and medium newspapers form a major chunk with circulations of more than 48 million and 64 million, respectively.
Language-wise Hindi press leads English, followed by Gujarati, Urdu and Malayalam.
Under the new policy, 35 per cent of DAVP advertisements in rupee terms will be given to regional and other languages newspapers as compared to the existing limit of 30 per cent.
The central government, public sector undertakings, autonomous bodies and societies have been given the freedom to directly give classifieds and display advertisements to empanelled newspapers at DAVP rates, subject to adherence to prescribed percentage ceiling as laid down in the new policy.
Under the new policy, all ministries, departments, subordinate offices and field offices of the government of India may issue tender notices directly to empanelled newspapers at DAVP rates.