Amar Ekushe Granthameal 2016 was not glorious for some publishers, saying that they were unable to make profit due to poor arrangement of stalls. They expressed their frustration on Monday while talking to reporters.
Refuting their claim, member secretary of the fair organisation committee Dr Jalal Ahmed said their arrangement was better than previous year.
In the month-long book fair, some 3,444 books had been published, 140 of those on the last day. According to the organiser, about Tk 40.5 crore books were sold in the last 29 days. Bangla Academy alone sold books worth Tk 1.5 crore.
Lutfur Rahman Chowdhury, director of Sandesh, said the environment of the fair adequate but the arrangement of the stalls were not. His stall was situated at the north side of the Suhrawardy Uddyan.
“Our selling would be one-third of the previous year,” he said, adding, “Big stalls had obstructed the view of the rear stalls…We don’t sell books of famous writers, so crowd did not visit here.”
The allotment of the stalls were done by lottery but some 21 publishers defying the result set up stalls in the front section at the Suhrawardy Uddyan for which they were issued show-cause notice by the Bangla Academy. “If such practice continues then next year 42 publishers will do the same,” said Lutfur.
Echoing Lutfur, proprietor of Jonaki Prokashoni Monzur Hossain said people gathered before the stalls in the front and left the venue from there. “I had spent Tk 2 lakh to set up the stall…Our selling will not be more than Tk 4 lakh,” he said, expressing frustration.
Anup Dutta of Mowla Brothers said they have made 25 percent more profit than the previous year. “There were several good books published this year and people liked them very much.”
Contacted, Ahmed said they were “satisfied” at the reply of the show-cause notice issued to the publishers. “We too have to realise the reality. Once they have shifted, it was not possible to go back,” he said, adding, “We’ve done well this year. There were some problems which will be addressed in the next year,” he said.
Bangla Academy had shut down four stalls over copyright issues and selling books that “hurts religious sentiment”. These four stalls will not be able to set up stalls for at least two years, he added.