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MIB frames new business policy for publications division

MUMBAI: The ministry of information & broadcasting (MIB) has framed a new business policy for Publications Division to streamline business practices in line with the contemporary trends prevailing in the publications industry.

One of the key highlights of the policy is promoting online readership by pricing the digital version of the publication at 75 per cent the price of printed version. This would ensure that 25 per cent discount is passed on to the readers. The policy acknowledges the growing prospects of e-commerce in the publications domain and promotes sale of e- books of the division through online platforms. The marketing tie-up with such e-commerce platforms would ensure better visibility and accessibility of its publications.

The policy stipulates that revenue earned from online sales of digital version of books would be shared in the ratio of 70:30 between Publications Division and e-commerce platform respectively. It mentions that performance review of e-commerce platforms would also be done after two years for any further action. The policy has also rationalised the pricing mechanism of key journals/magazines based on a formula incorporating production costs and discounts.

The policy framework focuses on the participation of critical stakeholders like Agents, Distributors and Institutions making bulk purchase through discount slabs, Credit & Exchange facility. It provides different discount slabs for Books & Journals/Employment News based on the monetary limit of the order and the number of copies respectively. 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 per cent.

The policy permits credit facility to the agents proportionate to their earnest money deposit with 60 days of credit which could be enhanced against suitable fixed deposit. The exchange facility to the 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. The policy has come into effect retrospectively from 31 December 2015.