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Sonia Gandhi calls for ban on govt ads for 2 years; NBA demands withdrawal of statement

A complete ban on govt and PSU ads was one of the five suggestions given by the Congress President to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the fight against coronavirus

Cancel the "self-indulgent" Rs 20,000 crore "beautification project" in the heart of Delhi, suspend official foreign tours and stop government ads, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said today, responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's outreach to the opposition in the fight against coronavirus.

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News Broadcasters Association (NBA) strongly deplored the suggestion by the Congress President to "impose a complete ban on media advertisements - television, print and online - by the Government and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) for a period of two years."

At a time when media personnel, without fearing for their lives, are doing their national duty, by disseminating news on the pandemic, a statement like this from the Congress President is highly demoralising, a press statement by NBA read.

NBA said, on one hand, there has been a slump in advertisement revenues of electronic media due to recession, on the other hand, it is suffering from financial blows due to nationwide lockdown of all industries and businesses. “Moreover, news channels are spending heavily on providing safety to their reporters and production staff. To suggest a "complete ban" on government and PSU advertisements is not only ill-timed but highly arbitrary.”

The news broadcasters’ body called upon Congress President to withdraw her suggestion made to the prime minister about "complete ban" on media advertisements for two years in the interest of a healthy and free media.

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