25 September 2019 | Source: Oswaal Books Editorial Board
It has been a year that UP Board introduced textbooks of the National Council of Educational Research and Training syllabi for all the subjects taught in classes 9 to 12 of its schools. In a fresh notice issued by NCERT, the board will need to start paying 12% Goods & Services Tax (GST), due on the royalty of these books.
The UP Board is among the world’s largest examination institutional bodies and has around 27,000 schools spread across all the 75 districts of the state. These schools include government-run, government-aided and unaided institutions and have over 1.25 crore (12.5 million) students enrolled in them.
“We have received a communiqué from the NCERT in this regard. The matter is being discussed now,” said UP Board secretary Neena Srivastava.
So far, the board had only been paying royalty of 5% of the total cost of the books to the NCERT. As the board was collecting the royalty amount from the publishers, it wasn’t costing it or the end users anything extra. However, with the GST payment, there will be some increase in the cost of the books. The publishers may be expected to recover this additional cost from the consumers.
Officials said that last year, the board had paid Rs 7.98 crore (a little under Rs 80 million) to the NCERT as royalty. “If this amount is taken into consideration, the GST would be around Rs 85.17 lakh,” said a board official who did not wish to be named.
Explaining further, he said, “So, for instance, if a book is priced at Rs 50, then each year, a royalty of Rs 2.5 has to be given to the NCERT. Now, on this Rs 2.5, the board will have to give 30 paise as GST. This may seem like a small sum but when the total number of books is high as is the case with the UP Board the GST amount paid will also be substantial.”
For over two academic sessions now, the board has introduced NCERT syllabi textbooks for 24 subjects.