Hyderabad: With the Telangana state government set to cancel publishing contracts, and given the rising cost of paper, school textbooks in the state are likely to become dearer.
The law department has said that the existing publishing contracts can be cancelled, paving the way for the government to float new tenders, wherein only Telangana publishers will be eligible.
Prospective publishers are seeking a hike in the tender base price and officials said that the prices are likely to rise by about 5 to 10 per cent, though the absolute numbers will only be known a week later after completion of the tender process.
Telangana publishers and printers had asked the government to scrap the existing publishing contracts and award them again to those from Telangana. Four of the five existing contract holders are said to be from Andhra Pradesh.
Telangana political JAC convener M. Kodandaram had also recently pitched for awarding textbook publishing contracts to local publishers.
Nearly 3 crore textbooks are printed each year, out of which 60 lakh are sold in open market stationery stores. The government had sought the opinion on the legality of cancelling the existing contracts, and given the feedback. Andhra Pradesh publishers will most likely be shown the door.
“The law department has given a go-ahead. Formal orders will be issued by the government soon,” a senior official said.
Due to the rise in paper cost, prospective new publishers are, meanwhile, seeking a hike in the tender base price. “The prices may rise by about 5 to 10 per cent. We have to see,” the official said....