Kolkata Book Fair Likely To Be Affected By Demonetisation

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Kolkata: Not only sales, but supply of books in regional languages will be less in the International Kolkata Book Fair next month due to demonetisation, the organisers said on Tuesday.

“Our biggest problem is production of books. Where will the books come from? How many workers who do the job of printing and binding will accept cheques?” Tridib Chatterjee of the Publishers and Booksellers Guild said. Stating that publishers were terribly affected by cash crunch, he said the availability of books which were not in English would be an issue.

“English book printing is highly automated and some of them are also from other countries,” he said adding regional publishers would be affected after this move,” Mr Chatterjee said.
The organisers fear reprints of existing titles would drop to one-fifth while new titles would be down by less than 50 per cent. Mr Chatterjee said yesterday he met Partha Pratim Sengupta, CGM of State Bank of India, to discuss the issue of cash crunch.

“We discussed issues like community cards, individual cards and e-wallets. The main problem is connectivity of servers. In district book fairs we have already seen that card swiping machines were not working,” he said adding SBI has promised to introduce mobile ATMs in the book fair complex.

Last year sales figure at the book fair, which would begin from January 25 to February 5, was pegged at Rs. 25 crore. This year Costa Rica has been selected as the focal theme country and would have a special participation of Russia.
“So far there has been no decrease in the number of stalls,” the organisers added.

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