<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian Newspaper Society on Friday voiced concern over certain provisions of the proposed Press and Registration of Books and Publications Bill 2013, saying the government was seeking to regulate “content” of newspapers with a special clause “in the guise of paid news”.The proposal to bring in regulation with stringent punishment leading to stoppage of DAVP advertisements and even cancellation of registration of newspapers to rein in so-called “paid news” was “draconian and not justifiable by any stretch of imagination”, INS outgoing President PV Chandran said at the 77th Annual General Meeting.”I strongly feel such regulation will have far reaching consequences to the smooth functioning of the Fourth Estate of our vibrant democracy,” he said.Chandran also termed as “arbitrary, unjustified and discriminatory” the new Print Media Advertising policy announced by the government, saying it was against the interests of small and medium newspapers, as also language newspapers. He said the government had not consulted the stakeholders at all on some provisions.Noting that several Public Sector Undertakings and autonomous bodies which were commercial and profit making establishments were releasing advertisements at DAVP rates, he said INS saw no justification in PSUs and autonomous bodies getting the benefit of DAVP rates.”We are therefore strongly opposed to application of DAVP rates for advertisements by PSUs and autonomous bodies,” he said, adding all PSUs and similar bodies should release advertisements at the prevailing card rates only.Chandran also appealed to the government not to consider constituting any further wage board for journalists and non-journalists employees in newspaper establishments. On the new GST dispensation, he said newspapers should continue to be exempted from the levy of any Sales Tax, Excise Duty and or similar indirect levies so that there is no tax burden on the common man.Any tax on newspapers was a tax on knowledge and militates against the spread of literacy and dissemination of news, he added. INS ELECTS NEW OFFICE BEARERSThe Rajasthan-based Rashtradoot group of newspapers, publisher Somesh Sharma (57) is the new President. Ms Akila Urankar of the Business Standard, the only woman in the 45-member executive committee, is the Deputy President. K Balaji of the Hindu is the vice-president and Sharad Saxena of the Hindustan Times is the honorary treasurer of the society for the year 2016-17.The members of the executive committee include former presidents Hormusji Cama (Bombay Samachar), Kiran B Vadodaria (Sambhaav Metro, Ahmedabad), Bahubali Shah (Gujarat Samachar), Kundan Vyas (Vapar, Mumbai), Vijay Darda (Lokmat), Vijay Kumar Chopra (Punjabi Kesari, Jalandhar), Mahendra Mohan Gupta (Dainik Jagran), Pratap Pawar (Sakal), MP Veerendrakumar (Mathrubhumi), Jacob Mathew (Vanitha), Ashish Bagga (India Today), K N Tilak Kumar (Deccan Herald), Ravindra Kumar (The Statesman), and P V Chandran (Grehalaksmi).Also elected to the executive committee are: Vivek Goenka (Indian Express), Manoj Santhalia (New Indian Express), Jayant Mammen Mathew (Malayala Manorama), Vilas Marathe (Dainik Hindusthan, Amravati), Kiran Thakur (Tarun Bharat, Belgaum), and V K Chopra (Dainik Assam).

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Indian Newspaper Society raises concerns over proposed Press and Registration of Books and Publications Bill 2013