August 17, 2022, 6:38 am

Staff Correspondent

2021-12-07 16:15:53 BdST

Bangladesh newspapers industry getting sick: NOAB

Newspapers Owners Association of Bangladesh (NOAB) President AK Azad has said that the industry in Bangladesh has been gradually getting sick due to various reasons, including operational cost hikes.

He made the remarks at a discussion meeting with the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) titled, "Role of Media in Overall Economic Development and Progress of the Country: Problems and Prospects" at a hotel in Dhaka, a press release said on Tuesday.

"Our operational cost increased vastly as paper prices went up, arrears inadvertisement bills, and not getting incentives amid Covid-19 fallout too," Azad also pointed out.

He added that different industries have been getting VAT and Tax facilities except the newspaper industry.

"Journalists are now living an inhuman life. Many industries received incentives during the pandemic, but we did not get any even though we informed about our situation to authorities concerned," he added.

“We have to spend Tk 20-30 to publish one newspaper but we sell it at Tk 10 and give Tk 6.50 to hawkers. So, we cannot provide salaries to journalists as per eight wage board."

Azad urged FBCCI to manage permanent places for newspapers hawkers in municipality areas following discussions with mayors.

Speaking at the programme, FBCCI President Md Jashim Uddin said the apex trade body took various initiatives to resolves all industries problems in the country.

"Some 85 percent of trade represent in private sector of the country.  FBCCI leads the business communities. However, we can face challenges or take opportunities after LDC graduations. We have many challenges in future as we have to achieve SDG in 2030 and attain development country's status by 2041. However, we need to increase $300 billion dollar export from 50-60 billion by 2041," he added.

Jashim said the government should discuss with stakeholders before forming any policy. The government is forming DAP policy but business communities don't know.

"However, FBCCI formed a committee with experts of the country for research development for the sake of the country's economic progress.  We need an innovation centre to tackle all challenges. Now we need to work together." he added.

He also said, "I think that it will be a big challenge for us how our ministries would negotiate after LDC graduation."

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