The media blackout on PM Modi’s GST announcement has been overstated

The media has played an important role in India’s economic recovery, but it’s been underfunded, overstated and ignored, a top economist said on Monday.

Gopro Media, the largest media company in India, reported a 12.6 per cent drop in revenue in the third quarter of the financial year due to the GST announcement.

In an earnings call, Gopro chief executive Rahul Kapoor said the media blackout was “outrageous” and “highly misleading” and said there were “serious concerns” about the impact on India’s economy.

Mr Kapoor’s comments followed a scathing assessment of the GST rollout by the Reserve Bank of India.

The government’s initial launch of the new national GST system was criticised by some economists and even the government itself as it came under pressure from international markets to boost growth and lift living standards.

India’s economy contracted at its slowest pace in three years in the second quarter of 2019, with GDP growth falling by more than 3 per cent in the year.

Gapro chief executives and other senior executives have since been criticised for being “unethical and unethical and unethical” for not being more open with the public about their plans for the GST.

On Monday, the media’s biggest media companies had faced pressure to show their hands on GST rollout, and not the government.

Gawana Group, India’s biggest newspaper and online news portal, had said it would show details of the rollout in the “next couple of weeks”, but the company has now cut the rollout timeline to December.

The newspaper said it was a “mistake” to delay the rollout.

The decision to cut the timeline was “in the best interest of the country’s economy, the nation and its people”, it said.

Gartner, the market intelligence firm, said the government had been “very successful in driving the public to embrace the GST” with a “huge media response”.

“However, the failure of the media to do more has been deeply concerning,” it said in a statement.

Gendai, the company that owns the Times of India, has also cut the GST timeline by three months.

It has also said it is working to streamline its processes to ensure more transparency, reduce costs and cut redundancies.