Govt to announce stimulus package for media

Last Updated: Sat, Feb 07, 2009 18:18 hrs

New Delhi: A stimulus package for the Indian media will be announced soon, the government said on Saturday. Media houses have been hit hard by the global financial meltdown. "Representatives of the media industry had written to the government and met me 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 said.

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Sharma met a delegation of the media that included Hindustan Times group chairperson and editorial director Shobhna Bhartia, Indian Express editor-in-chief Shekhar Gupta and Business Standard publisher and editor T N Ninan.

"The I&B Ministry has already sent certain recommendations about the package to the finance ministry and the government will announce it soon," Sharma added, saying the government was sensitive to the situation.

The stimulus package, when announced, would mostly concern the print media though some aspects would also apply to the electronic media.

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Sharma refused to spell out the volume and nature of the package.

Both the print and electronic media are facing the impact of the global financial crisis in the form of decline in advertisement revenue.

With advertisement revenues drying up, media companies are laying off employees and searching for investor bailouts. The rising cost of newsprint has added to the print media industry's problems.

Representatives of the print media had earlier approached the ministry seeking an upward revision in rates of government advertisements.

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