The Centre has spent Rs 967.46 crore on advertising its schemes in the print media from 2019-20 to 2023-24, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Singh Thakur said in a written reply to a question by Bahujan Samaj Party MP Haji Fazlur Rehman that the Central Bureau of Communication under the ministry releases awareness and publicity campaigns through print media outlets in accordance with the Print Media Advertisement Policy, 2020.

Under the Print Media Advertisement Policy, 2020, the Bureau of Outreach and Communication, a nodal agency set up in 2017, empanels newspapers in which advertisements will be placed. The policy states that a newspaper should have a minimum circulation of 2,000 copies per day to be considered eligible for empanelment. As per the policy, 80% of the newspaper advertisements are reserved for Indian language dailies.

Thakur told the Lok Sabha that as of March 31, 2023, there were 1,48,363 periodicals, including newspapers, registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India. The number was 1,19,995 in March 2019; 1,43,423 in 2020; 1,44,520 in 2021; and 1,46,045 in 2022.

Uttar Pradesh tops the list with 21,660 periodicals registered with the government, followed by Maharashtra with 20,448 periodicals and Delhi with 16,446 periodicals.