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Post-GST, Diwali magazines finding it difficult to turn the page

This year, most Diwali ank publishers said they are facing trouble because of GST as the revenue from advertisements has gone down.

pune Updated: Oct 04, 2017 15:48 IST
Shrinivas Deshpande
Shrinivas Deshpande
Hindustan Times, Pune
One of the Diwali ‘anks’ that is widely sold in the Diwali festive season.(HT PHOTO)

The 100-year-old tradition of ‘Diwali ank’ (Diwali magazines) has been an important avenue for writers and readers. This year, however, publishers are complaining the going has been tough for them due to the goods and services tax (GST).

This year, most Diwali ank publishers said they are facing trouble because of GST as the revenue from advertisements has gone down. Publishers said may of they have lost out because they do not have a GST number, due to which they are facing problems with getting ads.

Maharashtra has rich tradition of Diwali ank, with generations growing up on these magazines which every year deal with various topics.

Editor of the Diwali magazine ‘Anubhav’, Suhas Kulkarni, says, “This year, all publishers are facing trouble with getting advertisements because the market has been sluggish due to GST and demonetisation.” Kulkarni said while there is an increase in production costs of Diwali ank, at the same time revenue has gone down as the publishers cannot raise the price of the issue.

Mahendra Kanitkar, who has 55 years of experience publishing two Diwali anks - ‘Manini’ and ‘Prapanch’ - is also having a difficult time this Diwali.

Kanitkar said, “This is the worst year that I have seen in the 55 years of my career. Many advertisement agencies asked us for our GST number. The book industry is not covered under GST so we did not apply for a GST number. Now we are facing trouble getting advertisements without a GST number as agencies want it for their record.’’

Last year Kanitkar got 20 full page advertisements , but this year he is struggling for ads.

Chandrakant Malgave, publisher of ‘Akshar’ and ‘Menaka’ said, “Economy of Diwali anks is totally based on advertisement.We receive a majority of ads from banks and the construction sector, but because of the GST impact and slow economy, they are not ready to give advertisements. It has become very difficult to survive.”

“We are stuck between market driven forces and customer demand.This year I received 40 per cent less advertisements than last year. We received advertisements of ₹1 lakh only this year. last year it was ₹2 lakh,” said Jayram Desai, completing 35th year with the ‘Sahitya Shivar’ Diwali ank.

Diwali ‘anks’ like ‘Dipawali’ and ‘Lalit’ with a tradition of 73 years, are going to increase the prices of their Diwali ‘anks’ this year. Publisher Ashok Kothwale says: “Because of GST, excise and octroi were removed, hence, we are expecting less production costs,but actually price of paper has increased and we are not getting advertisements.Hence, there is no option but to increase the price of the Diwali anks issues to survive,” Kothwale says.

First Published: Oct 02, 2017 23:05 IST