Limited business hours hit book sales in College Street

Limited business hours hit book sales in College Street

KOLKATA: Booksellers in College Street are in a fix. The sales of books have dropped significantly due to the restricted business hours. Shops are allowed to stay open from 7 am to 10 am and from 5 to 7 pm in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

"Our business is 95 per cent down. The customers come between 11 am and 5 pm. We are losing customers because our shops were closed during that time after a new set of restrictions were imposed by the state government," said Gautam Malik, owner of Goutam Book Stall in College Street.

According to the booksellers, the peak season of book business starts from April and ends in August. During the peak season, the sale of books per shop used to be between Rs 15,000 and Rs 2,000 on a daily basis. This year, the scenario is totally different. At present, the sales have reduced to Rs 1,000 per day.

"We are suffering huge losses. We have two workers in our outlet, who are paid Rs 300 daily.

"It has become difficult to pay their remuneration due to reduction in sales of books," said Javed, owner of S M Book stall.

Some book-sellers held the Prime Minister Narendra Modi responsible for the spread of COVID-19.

"Before imposing a fine of Rs 5000 for keeping book shops open beyond the deadline, the police should charge Prime Minister Narendra Modi for having held election campaigns, which led to the spike in cases," said Irshad Hussain, another book seller.

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