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Bangladesh - 3 weeks ago

Newspaper owners demand payment of outstanding advt bills by June

Staff Correspondent: Bangladesh Sangbadpatra Shilpa Parishad has placed a 14-point demand, including the payment of all outstanding advertisement bills owed by newspapers to government agencies, including the DFP, by next June. If not, the leaders of this organization of editors and publishers have warned of launching a systematic movement to realise these demands from next July.
The demands were articulated during an emergency meeting addressing the ongoing problems of the newspaper industry and its solutions, held at the Daily Industry office in Dhaka yesterday, with its president, Dr. Enayet Karim, in the chair.
The General Secretary of the Bangladesh Sangbadpatra Shilpa Parishad, Yunus Sohag, presented the demands during the meeting.
Other demands include the formulation of policies for the equitable distribution of government advertisements, abolition of advance income tax and service charge on advertisement bills, ending price discrimination of government advertisements in English and Bengali newspapers, introducing government advertisement prices on online portals of registered newspapers, and increasing the rate of government advertisements based on market inflation.
The demands also include the provision of low-interest loans for the newspaper industry, accommodation for journalists-employees, a special allocation of Tk 5,000 crore, the introduction of a special pension scheme for journalists and media workers, repeal of all black laws including the Digital Security Act, and providing VIP status to all editors.
The leaders expressed their concern, stating that without timely payment of outstanding advertising bills, it would be challenging to sustain publications and pay journalists’ salaries.
Editors and publishers sought government intervention and cooperation, particularly from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the Information Minister, to sustain the newspaper industry.
The meeting highlighted that more than 700 media-listed newspapers in the country owe approximately Tk 2500 crore for advertising bills from the government agencies. Therefore, Tk 5,000 crores are required to clear these outstanding bills and cover bills for the next financial year to sustain the newspaper industry.
Dr. Enayet Karim, the president of the organization and the editor of the Daily Industry, informed the meeting that previously, newspaper advertisement bills were settled every three months. However, as this trend has ceased, the arrears have now reached Tk 2,500 crore.
The meeting was attended by, among others, MdFarukAlamTalukder, Chairman of DainikAlorJagat; MdFojlur Rahman Zulfiker, Editor of Dainik Diner Alo; Md Abdul Awal, Editor and Publisher of Dainik Sangbad Protikkhon; Dr Khan Asaduzzaman, Editor and Publisher of Bangladesh Samachar; Ayon Ahmed, Editor of ProtidinerChitra; MdHabibur Rahman, Chief Editor of DainikBhorerSomoy; AsaduzzamanSwadin, Executive Editor of DainikAlorJagat; and Md Hafiz Ul Islam, Executive Editor of DainikShuvo Din.

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