Sajha Prakashan gives 15-day ultimatum to PM

The publication house said it would be compelled to sell its property to pay employees if it didn’t receive financial help soon

Kathmandu, June 24

Sajha Prakashan today issued a 15-day ultimatum to Prime Minister KP Oli to resolve its financial crisis, saying the century-old publication house would be compelled to sell its property to pay its employees if it didn’t receive any financial help soon.

A meeting of Sajha Prakashan Management Committee on June 8 had decided to draw the attention of the prime minister towards its financial condition. In a letter handed over to the prime minister today, Sajha Prakashan has floated three options for bailing it out of the crisis.

Firstly, it has proposed allowing Sajha to distribute community school textbooks as in the past, providing it a grant of Rs 300 million or a subsidised loan of Rs 400 million to clear its debts.

Secondly, it has proposed that the government take the responsibility of Sajha’s employees, its debt, property and overall management. As a third option, it has proposed laying off employees and clearing its debt by evaluating its cash and fixed assets.

General Managar of Sajha Prakashan, Dolindra Prasad Sharma, said, “In a formal letter sent to the Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today, we have clearly said that if the government failed to act on any one of the options, we would be compelled to go for the third option to save this publication house.”

He informed the publication house owes Rs 80 million in loans to banks. “With monthly expenses of Rs 7.2 million, we need around Rs 400 million to provide salary and perks to employees and royalty to authors,” he said.

Currently, the publication house has 194 employees, with most of them drawing salary equivalent to first, second and third class officers of the government.

To reduce the number of such officers, it has called such employees for voluntary retirement as per the amendment to Sajha Prakashan Employees Administration Regulations-2073.

“We issued a notice today calling interested employees to apply for voluntary retirement within seven days,” said Sharma, adding, “If the employees completing 20 years of service on June 14 tender their resignation, they will get extra three months salary along with other perks. However, if they do not resign voluntarily, they may be sacked anytime without any perk or facilities.”

Sharma said that the publication house needed only around 35 young staffers, such as salespersons, to execute day to day activities.