New Delhi: The currency of countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh may have much less value but it does not matter for book sellers at the ongoing World Book Fair who are earning a fast buck by selling at Indian rates.
The sellers have marked books at domestic MRP value rather than converting it into Indian rupee rate which works out to be much cheaper in reality.
The National Book Trust, which is organising the Fair has however, said there is no rule to stop such a practice of foreign publishers and distributors from doing so.
"Some foreign publication stalls are selling books on the rates applicable for their country," alleged P M Bhat, a researcher from Mysore, in an e-complaint to the HRD Ministry.
Exhibitors from Pakistan like Children Publication Pakistan, Oxford University Press, Pakistan, Manshurat; Pages (Publisher and Distributor), and Karachi-based Royal Book Company, have marked prices on stocks in Rs, which is Pakistani Rupee PKR and not Indian Rupee INR, he said.
After a 10 per cent discount offered by Fair organisers to stall owners, the net rate of any book of works out to be (0.9 x 0.55) 0.495 Indian Rupee of every 1 Pakistan Rupee value, which means that any PKR denominated book must be available for purchase at about 50 per cent of the marked price, when paid in Indian Rupee.
M A Sikandar, Chairman, National Book Trust told PTI, "We are here to promote only good reading habits and that is what is our main goal. If people have such complaint they should go to the departments concerned like Sales Tax and Service Tax. We are just a literary body."
Farida M Naik, Joint Director, NBT, said, "As of now have not received any such complaints at the Fair. The NBT has only directed the publishers and the distributors to sell the books at a minimum discount of 10 per cent. If the sellers are selling it at a higher price, then they have to meet their costs of transportation, customs, payment for stalls at the Fair, so on and so forth."
The 7-day long event, which is being organised by National Book Trust, has put on show nearly 1,100 Indian and foreign publishers from countries such as Pakistan, Iran, Nepal, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, USA, UK, South Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka etc. (MORE)