ECONOMY

Monthly Archives: MAY 2020


THE FOURTH PILLAR
Print media set to take a big hit due to pandemic
22.05.20 - VIPIN PUBBY
Print media set to take a big hit due to pandemic



The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world in many ways and its actual impact may be still beyond the realm of our imagination. It has raised new issues, altered the way of dealing with old issues and led to all kinds of uncertainties.

Economists are divided over how long it would take the economy to bounce back. Many established businesses have to transform or reinvent themselves. While for some it has meant an end of an era for others it has hastened the change which has been in the offing.

Among those who are already feeling the pinch is the print media. It was already in crisis before the outbreak of coronavirus with tough competition from the electronic and social media and the devastating impact of the pandemic has now worsened the crisis.

Going by the trends in the western world and the peculiar conditions in India, media barons had been expecting that the transition from print to the digital media may still be at least five years away. The pandemic may have shortened even that deadline.

The print media industry had already been badly hit in the advanced countries with readers preferring to read online or electronic editions of newspapers. A few newspapers and magazines had stopped print editions after a dip in the circulation. Most top publications had already moved to the digital space and had introduced paid subscription to provide access to their content.

In India, with the burgeoning middle class and rising literacy rates, the circulation figures of newspapers, particularly of Hindi and regional languages, had been rising. However with the advent of electronic media, with no less than 400 television news channels taking away a substantial part of the advertisement revenue, the print media was already finding itself in crisis. 

The Covid pandemic has further broken the backbone of the print media industry. With huge fall in circulation of newspapers due to the prolonged lockdown, the advertisement revenue has virtually vanished. As per a global study, the losses to the print media have been estimated at over two billion dollars. 

The impact has been severe in India too with a majority of top newspapers sharply cutting down on staff, cutting salaries and even closing some projects. The fate of the small and medium enterprises is even worse with a huge number of such publications shutting down altogether. Even news magazines, which have not been printed and circulated for the last two months, are facing existential crisis.

Many readers do not realise that the price of the newspapers is heavily subsidised by the advertisements. As Anant Goenka of the Indian Express group of newspapers said at a recent webinar organised by the confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the newspapers are general sold at price ranging from Rs 4 to Rs 6 but cost Rs 15 to Rs 16 to produce and print. The balance cost is subsidised by the advertisement revenue.

Anant Nath of Delhi group of publications, which brings out about 30 magazines, said at the same webinar that only those publications would survive who earn credibility and on whom readers can depend for authentic information.

Many leading newspapers in the country had been promoting their online newspapers during the lockdown period by circulating these widely for free. For one this did not disconnect the readers from newspapers and secondly these might have inculcated the habit of reading newspapers online. Some media houses, including the top newspapers like the Indian Express and the Hindu have already offered subscriptions at highly subsidised rates and others have little choice but to follow.

In the current world of social media and "citizen journalism” leading to proliferation of fake news, it would become all the more imperative for credible sources of information where the authenticity of any news is properly checked and cross checked before release. This is where the established newspapers with experienced journalists and a strong desk would make a difference and have better chances of survival.
 

(The author, a freelance journalist, is a former Resident Editor of Indian Express, Chandigarh, and reported on the political developments in Jammu and Kashmir, North-Eastern India, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab in his long, illustrious career.)




Watch video:

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:

 

Amarinder govt’s nefarious plan to steal Shamlat Lands will spell death knell of Punjab

KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

 FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties  

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE         

 OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION         

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL       

A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

BAD, BAD WOMAN!

 


 

_______________________________________________________________

Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT 





[home] 1-3 of 3


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Comment


LOCAL VOCAL
MSMEs need conducive environment to flourish, not Inspector Raj which promotes corruption
14.05.20 - VIPIN PUBBY
MSMEs need conducive environment to flourish, not Inspector Raj which promotes corruption



The Rs 20 lakh crore package announced by Prime minister Narendra Modi, followed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s first dose of liquidity, including a Rs 5.94 lakh crore for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, are aimed at revival of economy after the serious setback in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.

The package, we are told, is worth 10 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and was geared to making India self reliant.

The figures seem impressive but remain no more than mumbo jumbo for the common man. How much of it would it trickle down to the common man and how would it revive the economy remain a big question mark. The assertion that it would kickstart the economy and make India a self reliant nation appears a distant dream if you see the ground reality.

A World Bank report released late last year had placed India at the 63rd rank among 190 nations in the bank’s ease of doing business rankings for 2019. The government had then backslapped itself for a jump of 14 places from 77 in the previous year. The report was flawed as it took into account only the survey in Mumbai and Delhi while a majority of industrial units including Medium and Small Enterprises (MSMEs) are located elsewhere in the country. 

But even then, is the 63rd position good enough for a developing country like India which aspires to be a $ 5 Trillion economy by 2024 ? Agreed that the coronavirus pandemic has led to a serious setback to the efforts but the broad point is whether the government has created a conducive atmosphere for ease of doing business in the country ? Neither the prime minister nor the finance minister made any reference to urgent reforms required to unshackle the MSMEs from corruption and the all pervading inspector raj. 

The worst affected due to the pandemic and the extended lockdown are the small and medium enterprises. Together these 65 lakh enterprises account for 95 per cent of the country’s industrial units. These provide 45 per cent of country’s employment, including jobs to 11 crore persons and account for 50 per cent of all exports.

It is open secret that such enterprises work under great strain and the "inspector raj” continues to pull these down despite claims to the contrary. A plethora of laws and rules are used by such corrupt inspectors and other staff to squeeze out small enterprises. Those who do not fall in line are imposed hefty fines or made to wait in the corridors of power till they break down and surrender.

An insider said he has to take care of no less than 40 such inspectors to let his enterprise do business. The so-called single window service is a joke and harassment of entrepreneurs is what may have led to closures of small and medium enterprises. It is not to say that the violations by such entrepreneurs should be condoned or overlooked but of the government is keen on reviving economy it must place more faith on the people running such units while retaining the right to come down heavily against those who violate the law.

The world’s top rating agencies like the International Monetary Fund and Moody’s have estimated that the growth of the country’s economy would slide to less than 1.9 per cent. While some agencies and financial experts have estimated that the growth would be in the negative - that is below even zero per cent growth. This would be happening after india was logging in 7 to 8 per cent growth - the highest growth rate in the world. The estimates had come down to about 5 per cent after the roll out of the GST but it was still much better than most other countries.

It is also true that economy has suffered a serious setback in other countries too including the United States and China. However these are big economies and can absorb the shock. China in fact is back on its revival path and most of its industries are back into production.

Prime minister Modi’s emphasis on self reliance or the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan is understandable. Evidently he was hinting at our growing dependence on China for a variety of raw products as well as finished materials. 

An example of how China was eating away into our economy is the way the famous cycle industry of Ludhiana had changed over the years. Earlier the entire product was designed and made in Ludhiana itself. However over the years the traders started importing parts and began assembling these here. This was because they could get these much cheaper from China. The result was a serious setback to the cycle industry of Ludhiana.

Likewise we were getting increasingly dependent on China for all kinds of goods including garments, electronic equipments, basic raw materials and even toys and idols of gods!

While the Modi government has affirmed that it would now try to focus on Indian industry and economy, it is also imperative that it analyses reasons for the comparatively slow growth of industry particularly the small and medium enterprises. There is obviously something very very wrong with the government polices which has led the industry into crisis. What’s the reason that several small and medium enterprises are lying shut for the last couple of years ?

Besides the poor rollout of the GST, what the government must look at closely is the continued Inspector Raj. The BJP among other national parties had been strongly criticising the Inspector Raj for long and have done little to eradicate this menace. It is high time its government paid heed to this menace.
 

(The author, a freelance journalist, is a former Resident Editor of Indian Express, Chandigarh, and reported on the political developments in Jammu and Kashmir, North-Eastern India, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab in his long, illustrious career.)




Watch video:


Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:

 

Amarinder govt’s nefarious plan to steal Shamlat Lands will spell death knell of Punjab

KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

 FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties  

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE         

 OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION         

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL       

A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

BAD, BAD WOMAN!

 


 

_______________________________________________________________

Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT 





[home] 1-3 of 3


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Comment by: Praveen Krishna

I'm doing this because I promised Mr Brandon Parker if I got my profits back I will recommend him to people in the world, if you have been seeing people testifying about Mr Brandon Parker don't doubt, he is 100% real, for the first time in my life when I invested $1000 with him I got paid $7500 from crypto trading within a month, thank you sir Mr Brandon Parker. I can't recommend you to someone who is not real, Mr Brandon Parker is real when it comes to trading don't doubt him, you can contact him to give him a try and also see for yourself.
Whatsapp: +1(520)775-0121 or Telegram: @trustcrypto
Email: bit.fxtrade@yahoo . com


I'm doing this because I promised Mr Brandon Parker if I got my profits back I will recommend him to people in the world, if you have been seeing people testifying about Mr Brandon Parker don't doubt, he is 100% real, for the first time in my life when I invested $1000 with him I got paid $7500 from crypto trading within a month, thank you sir Mr Brandon Parker. I can't recommend you to someone who is not real, Mr Brandon Parker is real when it comes to trading don't doubt him, you can contact him to give him a try and also see for yourself.
Whatsapp: +1(520)775-0121 or Telegram: @trustcrypto
Email: bit.fxtrade@yahoo . com


I'm doing this because I promised Mr Brandon Parker if I got my profits back I will recommend him to people in the world, if you have been seeing people testifying about Mr Brandon Parker don't doubt, he is 100% real, for the first time in my life when I invested $1000 with him I got paid $7500 from crypto trading within a month, thank you sir Mr Brandon Parker. I can't recommend you to someone who is not real, Mr Brandon Parker is real when it comes to trading don't doubt him, you can contact him to give him a try and also see for yourself.
Whatsapp: +1(520)775-0121 or Telegram: @trustcrypto
Email: bit.fxtrade@yahoo . com

reply


Comment by: Praveen Krishna

I'm doing this because I promised Mr Brandon Parker if I got my profits back I will recommend him to people in the world, if you have been seeing people testifying about Mr Brandon Parker don't doubt, he is 100% real, for the first time in my life when I invested $1000 with him I got paid $7500 from crypto trading within a month, thank you sir Mr Brandon Parker. I can't recommend you to someone who is not real, Mr Brandon Parker is real when it comes to trading don't doubt him, you can contact him to give him a try and also see for yourself.
Whatsapp: +1(520)775-0121 or Telegram: @trustcrypto
Email: bit.fxtrade@yahoo . com


I'm doing this because I promised Mr Brandon Parker if I got my profits back I will recommend him to people in the world, if you have been seeing people testifying about Mr Brandon Parker don't doubt, he is 100% real, for the first time in my life when I invested $1000 with him I got paid $7500 from crypto trading within a month, thank you sir Mr Brandon Parker. I can't recommend you to someone who is not real, Mr Brandon Parker is real when it comes to trading don't doubt him, you can contact him to give him a try and also see for yourself.
Whatsapp: +1(520)775-0121 or Telegram: @trustcrypto
Email: bit.fxtrade@yahoo . com


I'm doing this because I promised Mr Brandon Parker if I got my profits back I will recommend him to people in the world, if you have been seeing people testifying about Mr Brandon Parker don't doubt, he is 100% real, for the first time in my life when I invested $1000 with him I got paid $7500 from crypto trading within a month, thank you sir Mr Brandon Parker. I can't recommend you to someone who is not real, Mr Brandon Parker is real when it comes to trading don't doubt him, you can contact him to give him a try and also see for yourself.
Whatsapp: +1(520)775-0121 or Telegram: @trustcrypto
Email: bit.fxtrade@yahoo . com

reply


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ATAM NIRBHARTA
20 Lakh Crore Joke: A frustrated Indian Entrepreneur writes to PM Modi
14.05.20 -
20 Lakh Crore Joke: A frustrated Indian Entrepreneur writes to PM Modi



Hon'ble Prime Minister Modi Ji,

I write this in great dismay and deep anguish at the sleight of hand of your finance minister. What is being played out is a joke on Indian Economy and its people. Here are five pointers that reflect badly on you: 

1. How is repaying 'our' tax refunds 'your' stimulus? In fact, the FM needs to answer why they were not refunded earlier and had to wait for an year. And what happens to those refunds above 5 lacs? Imagine if every debtor considers it a favour to even pay off outstanding bills!

2. How is a loan a stimulus package? By a similar measure, can we treat it as income in our books instead of showing it as a liability so that we never have to repay it? Btw, the banks dont have a choice but to grant an additional loan to ensure that the MSMEs survive and don't turn sick! It is a normal banking practise! As of 2019, the total loans disbursed by all banks increased from 87.46 lac crores to 97.10 lac crores. That would be an 9.64 lac crore 'Economic Stimulus' in 2019, going by your accounting!

3. If reclassifying SSIs, Micro Enterprises and MSMEs is such a 'krantikari' move, then why did it need a pandemic to decide on it? A reform doesn't need a pandemic to push you?

4. What is the 25% TDS reduction about? The tax liability doesn't come down? The tax rates haven't come down? In fact, with profitability being severely impacted, the TDS itself will have to be refunded very soon. 

5. How is it that we saving less is an economic stimulus? It is our income, our savings and our spending. In such case, even withdrawals of about 60,000 crores from EPF accounts because we have been driven to eat out our savings is a stimulus.

Sir, enough of the humiliation. Enough of the accounting jugglery and voodoo economics. There is zero outlay from the government in reviving the economy. You are slowly strangulating the golden goose. Your definition of 'Atma Nirbharta' is to leave us in the sea to swim on our own, while you are in a chopper up above. What you want us to do is to survive by taking loans, increasing liabilities, saving less and eating out of our safety net so that you claim it as your support! All this, while you haven't spoken a word on the migrant labour, walking silenty for thousands of kilometres, without a whimper or protest, as they try to run away from your rule!

Feel our pain. Have a heart. Be true to yourself. Wipe our tears, if you can. And if you can't, at least don't treat us like an object to be used, abused and thrown. And if you, beyond using religion for the political theatrics, believe in God, remember that you will be answerable to him, one day! 

Regards
A frustrated Indian Entrepreneur 

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