While the newspaper industry imported 12,96,354 kg of newsprint in 2019-2020, the figure fell by a half in 2020-21 to 6,48,620.
In a written reply to a question, Information & Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said the newspaper industry had imported 13,84,056 kg of newsprint in 2017-18, which declined to 6,48,620 kg in 2020-21 – a drop of nearly 46 per cent.
The import of newsprint further declined to 5,97,766 kg in 2021-22, Thakur told the Lok Sabha.
The world was in the grip of the Covid-19 pandemic in the years 2020-21 and 2021-22.
He further added that the Basic Customs Duty (BCD) rate of 10 per cent was imposed on newsprint, which was subsequently reduced from to 5 per cent with effect from February 2, 2020.
The minister also said the representations were received from the newspaper industry for reduction/exemption from custom duties on newsprint which were examined by the Ministry of Finance.