Karnataka textbook printers pause operation amid paper shortage: Report – Deccan Herald

Several textbook printers in Karnataka have temporarily suspended operations due to non-availability of raw materials and rising costs, according to a report by The Times of India. 
For weeks, a number of printers have been unable to secure the paper needed to print these books from mills, which now “export it as it fetches them better returns,” the Karnataka Textbook Printers Association President B R Sathyakumar told the publication. Should the situation remain unchanged, it could affect textbook supply, he added.
“We have completed over 50 per cent of the printing. If paper supply comes regularly, we’ll be able to finish printing just in time for schools to reopen for the next academic year,” Sathyakumar said.
The schools in the state are scheduled to reopen for the new academic year on May 16. 
The association has reached out to the education minister and bureaucrats regarding the issue. In a letter dated April 27, the association claimed the price of printing has gone up around 40 per cent. “While it was around Rs 60,000 per tonne when we floated the tender, it has now reached around Rs 90,000 per tonne,” he said.
The state has around 21 units that print textbooks.
Sathyakumar said that the “impasse” could be resolved if the Bommai government asks Tamil Nadu’s state-owned paper mill to supply paper to Karnataka. 
The Karnataka Text Book Society (KTBS), however, said the current logjam would not affect the distribution of textbooks. It told the publication that some 64 per cent of textbooks were already printed, 61 per cent bound and 57 per cent distributed.
KTBS Managing Director Made Gowda hopes the textbooks would reach all students by May 16-20.
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