NEW DELHI: The government has hiked by 25 per cent the rates at which the Bureau of Outreach and Communication releases its advertisements to the print media.
The government said the decision will be of great benefit especially to the medium and small newspapers, including a large number of such papers in regional and vernacular languages.
The opposition Congress, however, termed it as "yet another tactic" of the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) to try and change the narrative in its favour.
In the last such revision in 2013, rates were increased by 19 per cent over and above the rates of 2010.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has taken a decision to revise the advertisement rates for print media by announcing a hike of 25 per cent over and above the existing rate structure for advertisement in print media by the Bureau of Outreach and Communication, an official statement said.
The decision is with effect from Tuesday and will be valid for a period of three years.
The government said the decision has been taken on the basis of recommendations of the 8th Rate Structure Committee constituted by the I&B Ministry that took into account several factors including an increase in the price of newsprint, processing charges and other factors which go into the computation of advertisement rates.
Reacting to the government decision, Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi said: "Since 2014, we have seen how the BJP has tried to manipulate the media, has tried to silence the media and believed that they can buy the media because they are in power and because they have the power of money with them." However, little do they realise that journalism cannot be silenced, media cannot be bought, and sooner or later they will have to pay a heavy price for it, she said.
"So, it is yet another tactic of the BJP, which is losing ground in 2019, to try and change the narrative towards its own self. They are going to fail spectacularly," the Congress leader said.