Budget burden on bibliophiles
Kathmandu, July 23, 2005
The recent announcement of 6.5 per cent import duty on all imported books with a view to ‘mobilising internal resource’ has brought vexations in its wake. It has directly affected readers and book store owners are in a tight spot. The July 16 budget has fixed the customs duty for all imported books at 5 per cent and the local tax at 1.5 per cent. Owing to the new tariff, the already ‘ordered books’ have been stuck along the Nepal-India borders. “Almost all the book stores have stopped ordering books after July 16,” Bidur Dangol, managing director of Bajra Books told The Himalayan Times. Hit by the import duty, stores here are also not being able to meet the growing demand for JK Rowling’s latest sensation Harry Potter and the half-blood prince. “The new customs duty will not only hamper local readers, but tourists as well, as Nepal is considered the only place in South East Asia where one can find almost all kinds of books with ease,” Dangol said. “We used to give 15 per cent discount on books to regular customers, but with the new provision in place we can’t afford to do that,” he added. “Readers want a discount and they hardly buy books if they have to pay more than the printed price,” Dangol said. Small book stalls alone import 30-40 lakh books a year, while major stores import over one crore books.
Bourse continues on bullish track
Kathmandu, July 23, 2005
With improvement in share prices of leading groups like commercial and development banks, share trading at the Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) continued its bullish trend for the last couple of weeks. The Nepse index registered a growth of 2.98 points this week. According to figures released by the Nepal Stock Exchange Ltd, the weekly share trading index opened at 287.90 points on Monday, and closed at 290.88 on Thursday, the last day for share transactions under the regular lot. Share trading had recorded a growth of 1.60 points last week. Propelled by healthy trading, the commercial banks group continued on growth track, while the development banks group posted a good comeback. Finance, hotel and insurance groups followed them. The other and the manufacturing group were losers this week, while the trading group remained constant. The total weekly transaction value, however, decreased this week and stood at Rs 27,551,064 from 1,510 transactions of 109,161 share units. The last week’s total trading value was Rs 61,806,378 through 1,208 transactions of 2,275,996 shares. Of the listed 66 companies for share trading, 55 companies saw their transactions this week.The commercial banks group, the largest scrip by volume at the Nepse floor posted a healthy growth of 5.20 points.