Kathmandu, 8 May: Kantipur Media Group (KMG) is enjoying special privilege from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology while importing newsprint from abroad.
According to Jana Aastha vernacular weekly, the Group is importing newsprint just paying 1 percent customs duty whereas the customs tariff in import of newsprint is 5 percent.
In the last 10 months of the new fiscal year, the Group has imported 2623 metric tons newsprint worth 2 million 974 thousand US dollars via Raxul Customs. Other publication houses have not imported newsprint in such a quantity.
Sama Printers is importing newsprint by paying 5 percent customs duty. Considering the market size of newspapers such a large quantity of newsprint cannot be consumed. For Gorkhapatra daily, a government mouthpiece, it needs 35 metric ton newsprint in a year to publish 40 thousand copies daily with 20 pages, except from special supplement.
This is not a new practice for the Group. In the past also, the publications under the group went against the then CIAA chair Lokman Singh Karki when CIAA had analysed the case of import of newsprint by KMG. The publications played a vital role for impeachment against Karki.
In such a trend, the group’s transition is above 800 million rupees, which is the subject of medium scale tax office [previous big tax payers’ office]. Other sectors in communications have not enjoyed such a facility from the government.
People’s News monitoring Service