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Stimulus package for media industry soon

February 07, 2009 15:28 IST

Taking note of the difficulties faced by the media industry due to the financial crisis, the government on Saturday said it will shortly announce a stimulus package for the sector.

"Representatives of the media industry had written to the government and met with me today about the adverse impact of the financial crisis on the media industry. We are going to give some stimulus package to the media industry and we do hope to mitigate the situation," Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Anand Sharma told reporters in New Delhi.

He was speaking after meeting with captains of the media industry including chairperson and editorial director of Hindustan Times group Shobhna Bhartia, Indian Express editor-in-chief Shekhar Gupta and publisher and editor of Business Standard T N Ninan.

Noting that the government is sensitive about the impact of the financial crisis on the media industry, Sharma said: "The I&B ministry has already sent certain recommendations about the package to the finance ministry and the government will announce it soon."

Asked if the package would also cover the electronic media, Sharma said that though it is mostly concerning the print media, "some aspects" of it would also apply to the electronic media too. The minister, however, refused to spell out its volume and the nature of the package.

The media industry, both print and electronic, is facing the impact of the global financial crisis in the form of decline in advertisement revenue. Compounding the difficulties for the print is the rising cost of news print.

Representatives of the print media had earlier approached the I&B ministry seeking an upward revision in rates of government advertisements. The Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity under the I&B ministry is responsible for releasing government advertisements in newspapers and figures as one of the most important advertisement clients for newspapers.

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