Textbook supply delay: Edu dept has a lesson to learn

Printers said they suffered losses since the numbers were less in the consecutive orders, but also the cost of delivering the books had increased over the months.pic for representation purpose only

The Education department’s move to slap fine on printers over late supply of textbooks has backfired on the department, with publishers sending a notice to the department, seeking dues that run into several lakhs of rupees. 

Publishers who have been supplying textbooks to the department have also blamed the negligence by officials for the delay in the supply of textbooks for this academic year.

A letter that one of the publishers has written to the principal secretary of the education department, Shalini Rajaneesh, says that the last indent for textbooks was placed as late as in August first week.

Recently, following reports that not all schools had received textbooks even several months into the academic year, notices were served to publishers that they would be blacklisted and fine would be levied on them.

In their response to the department, a copy of which is with DH, the publishers have blamed the department for placing the orders late. The tender for procurement of textbooks was floated in October 2017 for the current academic year and the order for the first set of books was placed in January 2018.

Printers said that the department placed orders for smaller number of books thrice, after the first order was placed. This, they said, led to a lot of inconvenience and losses.

“As per the terms of the tender, the prices quoted stand valid for a period of just 90 days. However, repeated orders were placed without taking into account the escalation in costs over a span of six months,” reads the letter.

Publishers claim losses

Another publisher said, not only did they suffer losses since the numbers were less in the consecutive orders, but also the cost of delivering the books had increased over the months.

“The cost of a litre of diesel has gone up by Rs 16. There was also a 20% hike in the cost of paper. None of these factors was considered when orders were placed thrice. Since we did not want children to suffer, a meeting was called and we agreed to print at the original cost,” said a printer.

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Textbook supply delay: Edu dept has a lesson to learn

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