In a significant decision benefitting the print and electronic media, Jammu and Kashmir government today said it would pay the GST chargeable on advertisement bills in the state. GST chargeable on advertisement bills shall be paid by the government and it would be over and above the actual advertisement rate charged by the concerned media, Principal Secretary (Finance) Navin Kumar Choudhary said in an order here.
He said the GST would be applicable on all advertisements regardless of their origin whether the government departments or the private parties.
There are presently two slabs of GST applicable for selling of advertisement space in the print media. While a GST of 5 per cent is charged on the official advertisements to the media through the Department of Information, an 18 per cent GST is charged if the advertisement agency sells the space for advertisement as an agent of the newspaper on commission basis.
According to the Commercial Taxes Department, in view of the latest order issued by the Finance Department regarding GST, the government would have to provide additional funds to the tune of Rs 1.75 crore to the Information Department for the year 2018-19 to be reimbursed to the newspapers as GST at the rate of five per cent, which will be over and above the Rs 35 crore advertisement budget for the fiscal.
The government has already revised its advertisement rates in the newspapers in the state, making a considerable hike of over 50 per cent in the rates notified in 2013. The government has also increased the advertisement budget for the newspapers substantially during the past three years from Rs 22 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 35 crore for 2018-19.
Meanwhile, in a separate order issued by the principal finance secretary, it has been ordered that all the government departments would issue advertisements, tenders and publicity only through Information Department. This also includes advertisements regarding Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) and Projects, it said adding that the Information Department would be the single gateway for making payments for all official tenders, advertisements and publicity issued by the government.