KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Friday observed that Kerala Books and Publishing Society (KBPS) shall be entitled to finalise the sharing of textbook printing work with a private press at the rate arrived at the negotiation. The court also directed the KBPS to file a statement explaining the progress of the textbook printing on July 15.
Following a court directive a meeting was convened in the Additional Advocate General office on Thursday, the KBPS submitted. In the meeting two points were discussed - whether the KBPS alone would be able to complete the printing by July 20. The KBPS informed that they would be able to complete only 9 lakh books. The second point was whether the Manipal Technologies would be able to do the work only at the rate of KBPS. The representatives of Manipal Technologies submitted that they will be able to do the work only at a rate of 25 percent above the rates fixed by KBPS plus transportation charges and also cost of paper.
The KBPS submitted that in order to complete the printing work by July 20, it contacted other parties to award printing work. Solar Offset Printers and Abhimani publication responded and expressed willingness. Abhimani Publications, Bangalore expressed the willingness to print at the rate of KBPS and in addition to that requested for transportation charges for taking paper and for delivering books. On the other hand, Solar Offset Printers offered the same rate as that of KBPS and only one transportation charges. Hence, it was proposed that the printing work may be awarded to Solar Offset.
KBPS had communicated to the government that the entire work will be over by July 31. But the government asked it to complete the work by July 20. KBPS submitted that by July 20, it would be able to complete only nine lakh textbooks of the remaining 21 lakh and the balance will be awarded to other agencies so as to complete the work by July 20.
The court observed that it is up to the KBPS to decide handing over the printing to private press and there was no need of the court’s permission.
The state government also submitted that KBPS has been granted permission to explore the other possibilities as stated to complete the entire process by July 20.