The Centre has framed a new policy to streamline business practices of the Publications Division, as part of which it will promote online readership by providing discount to readers.
"I&B Ministry has framed a new business policy for Publications Division with the objective to streamline business practices in line with the contemporary trends prevailing in publications industry. One of the key highlights of the policy includes promoting online readership by pricing the digital version of the publication at 75 per cent of the price of printed version. This would ensure that 25 per cent discount is passed on to the readers," an official statement said, adding that the policy has come into effect from December 31 last year.
Acknowledging growing prospects of e-commerce in the publications domain, the policy also promotes sale of e-books of the Division through online platforms. As per the policy, the revenue earned from sales of digital books would be shared in the ratio of 70:30, between the Publications Division and e-commerce platform respectively.
While a performance review of e-commerce platforms would also be done after two years for any further action, it has also rationalised the pricing mechanism of key journals and magazines based on a formula, incorporating production costs and discounts. "The policy framework focuses on participation of critical stakeholders like agents, distributors and institutions making bulk purchase through discount slabs, credit and exchange facility. It provides different discount slabs for books, journals and employment news based on the monetary limit of the order and the number of copies respectively," the statement said.
National-level book publishing organisations like National Book Trust interested in selling the publications of the Division would be covered under the agent's discount rate of 45 percent, it said. The policy will allow credit facility to agents proportionate to their earnest money deposit with sixty days of credit which could be enhanced against suitable fixed deposit.
"The exchange facility to agents would be allowed within 60 days of billing up to 10 per cent of the gross value of the publications purchased in a year. However, this facility would be provided only two times in a calendar year and the exchange would not be applicable for the annual reference book India/Bharat," it said.