Publishers have demanded to reduce stall fares during the Ekushey Boi Mela as they are in financial hardship due to the Covid-19 epidemic.
The epidemic has plummeted the publishing industry unexpectedly. Bangla Academy authorities should reduce the stall fare considering the financial condition of publishers, said publishers at a view-exchange programme at Bangla Academy organised by Bangladesh Gyan O Srijonshil Prokashak Samity on Monday.
Last year, the Bangla Academy authorities reduced the fare by 50% compared to the previous year.
The samity also placed 11-point demand that includes keeping the book fair open to visitors from 10am to 9pm, allocating all the stalls at Suhrawardy Udyan, building separate gates for publishers and writers, providing special facilities to quality publishing houses and involving their representatives in decision making.
Bangla Academy Director General Mohammad Nurul Huda, who was present as the chief guest at the programme, said he agrees with 80% of the proposals, adding that "I will try my best to provide financial support to publishers. At the same time, I have a plan to build a permanent structure for the book fair."
Noted cultural personality Ramendu Majumder was present there as a special guest and said the government should spend the entire amount allocated for the fair. He also suggested that publishers should organise the book fair as Bangla Academy cannot perform their daily activities properly because of their extra duties at the fair.
Urging the publishers to print quality books to help the next generation be knowledgeable, Dr Muhammad Zafar Iqbal said, "I usually collect many books written by young writers from the fair but I become frustrated after reading some pages as the writings are very weak. I do not know why the publishers publish those books."
Bangladesh Gyan O Srijonshil Prokashak Samity Executive Director Monirul Haque said publishers printed creative and other good-quality books but those have not yet been sold.
"We want the government to buy our books for educational institutions and offices, which will be a great help for us. The Primary and Mass Education Ministry can play an important role in this regard," he added.
Bangladesh Gyan O Srijonshil Prokashak Samity President Farid Ahmed presided over the function.