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Newspaper sector becomes industry

Staff Correspondent

Industries minister Amir Hossain Amu holds a meeting with executives of the Newspapers Owners’ Association of Bangladesh at industries ministry in Dhaka on Tuesday. — New Age photo
 Industries minister Amir Hossain Amu holds a meeting with executives of the Newspapers Owners’ Association of Bangladesh at industries ministry in Dhaka on Tuesday. — New Age photo

The industry minister, Amir Hossain Amu, on Tuesday said that the government had decided to declare newspaper sector as an industry.
At a meeting with the leaders of the Newspaper Owners Association of Bangladesh at his Shilpa Bhaban office, Amu also said that the ministry would issue a gazette notification soon in this regard.
Amu told the meeting that the government had made the decision in order to ensure the emergence of a powerful and vibrant media industry in the country and the institutionalisation of the sector.
Once the gazette notification is issued, the newspaper sector will be treated as an industry, being separated from service sector, and it will avail facilities enjoyed by other industries, officials at the ministry said.
Usually, an industry enjoys some facilities including import of capital machinery and raw materials at reduced import duty and other taxes, they said.
At the meeting, the association leaders urged the minister to ensure relevant facilities including arranging separate HS code in import of machinery, newsprint and other raw materials for the newspaper industry.
They also thanked the government for declaring newspaper sector as an industry.
Amu said that the decision was made following an instruction from the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, and considering the longstanding demand of the newspaper owners in the country. 
He hoped that the newspaper industry now would be able to grow smoothly overcoming complexities it was facing in absence of its status as an industry.
He also urged the newspaper owners to publish more positive news and make constructive criticism of the government so that it can rectify its mistakes.
NOAB president Mahbubul Alam, executive committee members — Prothom Alo editor Matiur Rahman, Daily Star editor and publisher Mahfuz Anam, Samokal publisher AK Azad, New Age editorial board chairman ASM Shahidullah Khan, News Today editor and publisher Reazuddin Ahmed and Financial Express editor AHM Moazzem Hossain — and additional industry secretary Md Farhad Uddin were present.




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