The Indian Newspaper Society (INS), a body of newspapers in the country, today expressed concern over "non-payment" of advertisement bills to certain publications by the West Bengal government and asked its Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to clear the dues.
"This has caused severe financial distress to these newspapers as the media industry passes through a very difficult period," the INS said in a statement.
The Society's Executive Committee at its meeting today in Kolkata expressed deep concern and anguish over the non-payment of advertisement bills of selected member publications for several years.
The society urged the chief minister to clear dues of its members without further delay, it said.
The Society also expressed dismay at the reported stand of the state government to not clear dues of its previous dispensation and said this was a negation of constitutional principle, the statement said.
The INS said that it has advised its members to "exercise extreme caution" in accepting advertisements from the government of West Bengal.