GUWAHATI, June 26 � Criticising the State government for its apathetic treatment to newspapers in the matter of clearing advertisement bills in time, the Northeast Newspaper Society (NNS) today said that the government was pushing the newspaper industry into a grave crisis by not paying the advertisement bills at enhanced rates for the last six months.
�It was precisely due to the insensitiveness of the government that NNS was compelled to black out government advertisements as a mark of protest last year. After a request by the minister concerned, Basanta Das, we resumed publication of government advertisements but it is shocking that the government has failed to honour its promise in the past six months,� NNS said in a statement.
Minister Basanta Das had on January 3 given it in writing confirming a 60 per cent hike in advertisement rates, and this was to be paid every two months.
�As per government norms, advertisement rates are supposed to be hiked every year at a rate of 10 per cent. But due to the apathy of the government, we have had only one 10 per cent hike since 2003 till date. In addition, Press Council of India also stipulates that advertisement bills are to be paid every month,� it said.
The NNS warned that unless the government did the needful to ensure timely payment of advertisement bills at enhanced rates, it would be compelled to come up with a stern action to get its dues.