New Delhi: Concerned that newspapers are
sometimes made to run "pillar to post" to get payments for
Government advertisments, Press Council of India Chairman
Markandey Katju said dues should be paid within a month of its
publication failing which 12 per cent interest must be levied.
Taking up the cause of the print media, Justice (retd)
Katju made the proposal in a letter to the Cabinet Secretary,
the Secretary of Information and Broadcasting Ministry and
Chief Secretaries of all states.
Katju, whose recent remarks against media has attracted
criticism, said he has noted that very often the payments are
delayed and that newspapers and periodicals are made to run
from "pillar to post" to get the dues from Government
Departments in Central and State Governments and the Union
Territories and other authorities.
"Non-compliance of this directive will be taken very
seriously by me, and the person or authority concerned will
have to face the consequences," Katju said, asking Government
departments to make the payments within a month of their
advertisments being published in newspapers.
Katju also made it clear that levy of 12 per cent
interest per annum should not be taken as "penalty or
punishment" and it is the normal accretion of capital.
"It may be mentioned that interest is not a penalty or
punishment at all. It is the normal accretion on capital.
Hence for delayed payment, interest has also to be paid," the
former Supreme Court judge said as he sought to use business
Katju said he had noticed a case where no payment was
made by Directorate of Advertising & Visual Publicity (DAVP)
till date to a newspaper for an ad published in 1997.
"In my opinion, this is most improper and unfair. The
government or the statutory authority must behave as a role
model for the citizens and must make prompt payments for goods
or services they receive.
If the management of a newspaper or journal receives
prompt payment, they can invest it elsewhere and keep the
money in circulation. If that is not done, the money is
blocked," Katju wrote.