Publishers Urge Government to Include Books in List of Essential Goods

The Association has urged the government to include the books as the essential goods as it believes that digital learning opportunities are still out of reach for the students outside of the Tier-1 cities.

May 6, 2020

Books to be considered as essential goods.

As reported in a leading daily, the Association of Publishers in India has written to Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal seeking the inclusion of books in the list of essential goods that consumers should be allowed during the current lockdown at least via online retailing.

“Right to education is a fundamental right granted to the citizens of India and books are the primary tool to uphold it,” the association argued in the letter.

Following the Covid-19 outbreak and nationwide lockdown sale allowing the sale of only essential items. This has led to a severe blow on makers and retailers of all items which fall under the non-essential categories.

“Online learning opportunity in India is insufficient to reach the students outside of the Tier-1 cities,” the letter said adding that online learning requires access to a computer or smartphone which is not standard equipment in Indian households whereas books reach every nook and corner of our country.

The local printing industry can sustain automated production with social distancing while providing necessary employment and authors and editors can work from home, said Nitasha Devasar president, Association of Publishers in India in the letter.