GUWAHATI, July 11 � Alleging apathy on the part of the Directorate of Information and Public Relations (Janasanyog) in the matter of effecting a hike in advertisement rates and timely payment of dues, the Northeast Newspaper Society (NNS) today warned of a blackout of government news, photos and advertisements.
In a statement, the NNS said that�despite a confirmation in writing by DIPR Minister Basanta Das on January 3 concerning a 60 per cent hike in advertisement rates, which was to be paid every two months, nothing materialised in the past six months.
�The apathy of the DIPR is pushing�the newspaper industry into a grave crisis. It is not even honouring the Chief Minister�s directive in this regard for the past one year. If this situation continues, we will be compelled to black out government news and advertisements,� the NNS said in a statement.
�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 from 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,� the NNS added.
�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, the Press Council of India also stipulates that advertisement bills are to be paid�every month,� it said.