The National Curriculum & Textbook Board (NCTB) is shouldering the duties incurred by the foreign firms selected for the printing of primary textbooks, whereas the local companies are paying additional duties while doing the same job.
The foreign contractors were relieved from 31 percent cost in LC, C&F charge, insurance and duties to be borne by the NCTB. But the local work awardees have to pay 61 percent in duties and bank commission.
Leaders of the Printing Industries Association of Bangladesh alleged that local qualified bidders have not been placed on par with foreign bidders.
The cost of textbooks printing local organisations thus became higher than that of the foreign companies.
Tofail Khan, chairman of Printing Industries Association of Bangladesh, has already sent a letter to the NCTB chairman urging him to cancel the international tender system for textbook printing. He also demanded to evaluate the proposals of local and foreign bidders based on the same terms and conditions.
It has been learnt that local printers have to pay 61 percent duties, tax and charges on papers and other materials.
A total of 115,526,952 textbooks were printed for the 2017 academic year. Apart from local qualified bidders, printers from India and China also got work orders for the printing of separate chunks of textbooks.
Mohammad Zahurul Islam, general secretary of Printing Industries Association of Bangladesh, said the local entrepreneurs have been severely affected by the discriminatory policy of the NCTB.