Frontlist | After 15 years, govt hikes budget for library books

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A 15-year-old request for increasing the expenditure on books purchased for state libraries has finally been accepted by the government.

A 15-year-old request for increasing the expenditure on books purchased for state libraries has finally been accepted by the government. Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar, who made the announcement on Monday, said the move will encourage writers and publishers.

The budget has been increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh per publisher annually and the books will be purchased for public libraries across the state. This move will put a stop to the practice of publishers resorting to proxies and applying for the grants to publish books by authors associated with them, said a department source.

Satish Kumar S Hosamani, Director, Department of Public Libraries, explained that earlier, Rs 1 lakh was given to publishers for a limited number of copies of books. Approximately 300 copies would be printed with the amount. However, as there are more than 5,000 local libraries, and limited books, the library cess will be used to purchase the additional books from the publishers enlisted by the department. “The government’s decision gives publishers a better price for their books,” he noted.

The move was lauded by the Karnataka Kannada Writers’ and Publishers’ Association which termed it a historic move for the community.Association secretary R Doddegowda  said that their president Nidasale Puttaswamaiah and senior litteraeur Prof Doddegowda had, for several years, been requesting the government to increase the budget, and added that the decision has renewed the spirit of many writers in the state.

In 2005, the budget per publisher was increased from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh. Ever since, no government has paid attention to this, despite several pleas, he added.Puttaswamaiah lauded the government for giving precedence to literature despite the pandemic being financially burdensome on the state.

Read More: Some Great Virtual Book Events Happening This Week: Feb. 22–27

Source: Indian Express

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