KATHMANDU, Aug 2: A meeting among stakeholders scheduled for Monday for discussing the charges for printing textbooks could not take place after the state-owned Janak Education Material Center (JEMC) failed to justify its proposal for increasing the printing price.
The JEMC and private publishers proposed doubling the rate of book printing during a meeting held at the Curriculum Development Center (CDC) last Thursday.
Sarita Aryal, member of the government's price determining technical sub-committee, said that the JEMC deferred the meeting after failing to furnish their reasons for hiking printing charges.
“The center informed us today that it could not come up with the reasons for increasing the fee for printing textbooks,” she added.
The JEMC and private publishers publish the books of public and private schools.
The present rate of printing book is 30 paisa per page for single color. The JEMC has proposed 57 paisa per page for 5,000 copies in single color and 54 paisa per page for more than 5,000 copies. Likewise, it has sought 65 paisa per page for two colors and 78 paisa per page for multi-colors, according to sources.
The private publishers have proposed 80 paisa per page for single color and Rs 1.00 per page for two colors and Rs 1.25 per page for multi-colors.
Five years ago, the price determining committee had fixed the fee for printing school textbooks at 36 paisa per page.
However, it could not be implemented owing to widespread objections from the stakeholders.
Meanwhile, Aryal, of the price determining sub-committee, said that they have made it clear to the JEMC and the private publishers that the rates proposed by them would be implemented only after they provide proper justification for it. “Instead of proposing new charges, we suggested them to implement the rate of 36 paisa per page that was approved five years ago,” Aryal said.