Publishers Out of Paper
Monday, 29 November 2010

Confusion over supplying free primary textbooks has risen as a paper suppliers requested for more time.

Ratan Kumar Siddiquee, who is on special duty to supervise textbook publication, told that 'Nipun Enterprise' was ordered to supply 997 tonnes paper within Nov 20.

The firm informed NCTB on Nov 24 that it will not be able to supply the required amount.

Ratan said Krnaphuli Paper Mill will be asked to make up the shortfall.

Tender will be published again in case of failure of the mill to supply papers, he added.

He also expressed his concern that they will not be able to print the books this year.

Until now, below 37 percent primary textbooks have been supplied while over 75 percent secondary textbooks were supplied to the National Textbook and Curriculum Board (NCTB).

NCTB held a meeting over the current situation on Sunday. NCTB member Abul Kashem Mia was asked to prepare a policy on measures against publishers failing to ensure timely supply.

Ratan said NCTB is pressuring the publishers to provide the books before Jan 1.

He also said the board is concerned about activities of nine publishers.

Of the nine, Bikalpa Press and Publications, Modern Printing and Publications, Popular Press and Publications, Sarker Printing and Publications, Anannya Printers and Balaka Press and Publications were blacklisted by the National Taskforce over delayed supply of textbooks last year.

On the other hand, press owners urged to extend the deadline of supplying textbooks for primary students from Nov 30 to Dec 20 and for secondary students from Nov 30 to Dec 15.

Ratan said publishers failing to supply the books in times will see measures against them.

Earlier, press owners threatened to stop supplying books for not being paid.

They pressed for a payment of Tk 1 billion before Eid.

Textbook Printing and Distribution Association president Tofael Khan said the bill for about 30 percent books have already been delivered.

He had said NCTB asked them to collect the due payment from the primary and mass education department which asked them to contact accountant general's office.

Ratan said the billing system would not be changed this year.


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