New Delhi: In a bid to promote the recently implemented goods and services tax (GST), the information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry has asked all television broadcasters (news and non-news) to run scrolls about GST awareness campaign Manthan.

GST was launched on 1 July and is pegged as the country’s biggest tax reform in its 70-year history.

In an advisory issued on Thursday evening, the ministry requested all the TV channels, News Broadcasters Association (NBA) and Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) to promote the GST awareness campaign, under which government will conduct workshops across the country.

“Keeping in view the importance of the matter, all TV channels and their associations viz. News Broadcasters Association and Indian Broadcasting Foundation, are requested to run the scrolls, on pro bono basis," the advisory said.

The GST Council and the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) have been running an overall campaign on the GST tax regime since 2016, across print, digital, television and outdoor media, with celebrities like Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan and badminton player P.V. Sindhu.

The I&B ministry, in a separate advisory, has also asked TV channels and FM radio channels to provide “adequate publicity" to Mission Indradhanush, a government initiative to expand immunization coverage to children who are either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated against seven vaccine preventable diseases. “In order to make this mission a success, it has been felt that support, assistance and contribution of private TV channels and FM radio of channels will be of immense use," the ministry said in its advisory.

Earlier in May, the I&B ministry had cracked down on Pakistani channels, that were being illegally aired in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and spreading “anti-India" propaganda. Former I&B minister M. Venkaiah Naidu had asked the J&K state government to look into the matter and stop the transmission.

For the year 2017-18, the government has earmarked Rs4,409 crore for the I&B ministry, 5.96% more than what was allocated last year. The annual budget of the ministry was Rs4,161 crore for 2016-17, according to the revised estimates.

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