Demonetisation hits Kolkata Book Fair, sales dip by 20%

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Demonetisation has affected sale of books at the 41st International Kolkata Book Fair 2017, the largest book fair in the world in terms of retail sales, with the sales down by 20 per cent, an official said.

General Secretary of the organising body, Publishers & Booksellers’ Guild, Tridib Chatterjee told reporters today that the sale of book was Rs 16 crore till last night.

“This is 20 per cent less than the sale during the corresponding period last year,” he said.

Last year an estimated Rs 25 crore sale was reported in the book fair till the last hour of closing, Chatterjee had said.

Though book sales declined due to demonetisation, there was no dearth of book lovers, from the city and the districts, who flocked to the event.

Chatterjee said the loss was also partly compensated by various measures of the organisers and sponsors like SBI making available currencies of lower denominations for both the customers and owners at 600 stalls.

The 42nd International Kolkata Book Fair will have France as the friend country and be held from January 31 to February 11 next year.

“We people of Kolkata and Bengal share affinity with France. We both love music, appreciate art and buy books including poems. We are honoured to have France as the friend country next year for the book fair in the City of Joy,” Chatterjee said.

Counsellor for Cooperation and Cultural Affairs and Country Director of Institut Francais India Dr Bertand de Hartingh and Consul General of France in Kolkata Damien Syed represented France.

The two referred to the deep-rooted friendship between France and India and said the French Republic was privileged to be declared the friend country of 42nd International Kolkata Book Fair, the city of Tagore and Satyajit Ray.

This year Costa Rica, a peace-loving nation, was the theme country of the Book fair.

“We want to be called as friend country,” the dignitaries said to which the Guild official readily agreed.

In a nice gesture, a city-based organisation ‘Argobbhawva’ donated T-shirts to sanitation workers at the Book Fair today for their untiring effort to keep the venue uncluttered.

The fair which was inaugurated on January 25 by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will formally end with the ceremonial ringing of the giant bell at 9 pm today.

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