The Publishers and Booksellers Guild has today informed that the Department of Urban Development and Municipal Affairs (UDMA) of the State Government has confirmed that the temporary business license fee charged by the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation (BMC) to all participants of the Kolkata International Book Fair, including small magazines, has been removed.
The Guild said UDMA Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya has confirmed this and assured that all publishers and small magazines who have already paid for the commercial licenses will be able to claim back their payment from the BMC.
General Secretary Tridib Kumar Chattopadhyay and Guild President Sudhangsu Sekhar Dey mentioned that all magazine publishers and small publishers feel encouraged by this move by the state government since the pandemic times have caused enough losses. for the sector and therefore the state government. decision comes as a blessing.
The guild members also pointed out that since the state government sent them the official approval to rename the venue Central Park to ‘Boi Mela Prangan’ as proposed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, it has been decided for the rest of the year, book bazaars will be frequently held here where anyone can buy and sell a collection of books, whether first or second hand. “We are convinced that this will attract many young people.”
The Guild also said the book fair recorded attendance of six lakhs on Saturday, while pointing out that this year the most notable feature has been an increase in book sales at the fair which had previously seen a drop despite good attendance. Mr Chattopadhyay said this shows that interest in books has increased among the population after the onslaught of the pandemic. “We weren’t expecting such a good sale, but it’s reassuring. People should make a habit of reading and might even gift it to someone,” he said.