Budget on books: Publishers not delighted;GST & rising paper costs bigger concern for industry.

The government’s decision to levy 5 per cent customs duty on imported books has not found much favour with the publishing industry, which feels ease in claiming GST-related benefits and availability of cheaper paper would have rather helped Indian publishers.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the duty hike on foreign-made books from nil to 5 per cent during her Budget speech, saying the move was aimed to encourage domestic publishing and printing industry.

GST on uncoated and light weight paper was 12 per cent, now it is 10 percent. 

There is no mechanism to claim ITC (Input Tax Credit) – taxes paid by suppliers – the erstwhile VAT (Value Added Taxes).

It was only electronic reproduction of intellectual property that was taxable earlier.

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