And three days later, the first book fair began. However, the printing press is still not busy. Publishers are bringing forward the increased price of paper as a reason. Thinking of canceling the commission system in fairs to avoid losses.
Even a few days before the book fair, the printing press is not busy. The owners and workers said that because the price of paper did not decrease, the work of printing books for the fair has decreased.
The price of paper almost doubled last year. And in the fair, the price of books is increased by 10 percent. Publishers claim that the price of books has not increased as compared to paper. For this reason, even if the price of paper does not increase, the fear of loss remains. In such a reality, publishers are thinking of scrapping the commission system.
Osman Gani, the publisher of the upcoming publication, said, ‘There is no way to reduce the quality of books even if the price of paper is increased. The price of books cannot be increased suddenly. Previous books will be sold at old prices. It will be an average. We want to sell books at affordable prices without increasing the price of books. If necessary, the price of books will be reduced. But the commission will not be given.’
The demand of paper in the country is about 75 thousand tons per month. The demand for paper increases during book fairs. Not to raise prices then, the publishers requested the millers.
Importing paper from abroad has to pay a duty of 59 percent. Importers claim that if the duty is increased to 10 percent, it will create a competitive market. It will reduce the price of paper.
Shafiqul Islam Bharsa, president of Bangladesh Paper Imports Association, said that if the import duty could be brought to 10 percent, then the domestic producers would not be able to retain the monopoly position. In a free market economy, the consumer must benefit. The price of paper raw material has come down now. Syndicates are also responsible for price hikes. Everyone should have national commitment.