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Digital payment increases book sales in Ekushey book fair

DHAKA, Feb 11, 2018 (BSS) - Book sale in Ekushey Book Fair this year is jumping day by day as a result of introducing digital payment system, sellers of different book stalls at the fair ground said.

Leading publishers said their sale volume increased significantly since Friday as bookworms are coming to buy books every day. Digital payment facility offered by bKash, the leading mobile financial service of the country, has opened the opportunity for them to buy books in cash where they get back a good amount of money from bkash.

"This year digital payment has encouraged many book lovers to buy books of their choices. Most publishers were enjoying higher sales since Thursday and a large amount of buyers are paying through bkash payment system to get back some cash", a sales man of a big publishing company said.

bKash offers a 10 percent cash back when making the payment on purchases at the Ekushey Book Fair 2018 through its payment network. Around 350 leading publishers are accepting bKash payment at the book fair, which began on February 1 on the Bangla Academy premises.

Bkash is the leading mobile financial service provider in the country with more than 30 million users all over Bangladesh.

Every day, bKash stall at Bangla academy ground is seen crowded as bkash offers 10 per cent cash back to book buyers. Visitors who have no bKash accounts are opening accounts without any charge. The cash back is applicable on top of the publishers 25 percent discount on cover prices.

A Dhaka university graduate, Shahabuddin Molla came on Friday at fair ground just to accompany his daughters who bought a number of books written by local novelists and story writers.

Shabuddin suddenly found some rare books at the stall of Dhaka University and Muktodhara. As he had no enough cash with him, he didn't miss the chance offered by bKash.

Around 60 publishers came to the fair with new children's books. The book fair also displays a big collection of audio books mostly for children.

As the first two hours from 11am to 1pm dedicated to kids as children's hour on Friday and Saturday, publishers expect increased sale of children's books on these two days compared to other working days.

The land earmarked for the Ekushey fair has been increased to about 5,50,000 square feet from last year's 5,13,000 square feet. Total number of stalls increased to 700 from 659 while the number of publication agencies increased by 60 percent and the number of pavilions by 12 percent compared to the previous year, officials of Bangla Academy told BSS.

"Bangla Academy should care of this pricing issue and the government should extend support to some publishers of quality books as well as boosting the printing industry of Bangladesh,", Abul Quasem, a banker who was visiting the book fair said.

"This year, the Ekushey Mela has been appeared with a digital face thanks to publication of some digital books and digital payment with cash back offered by bKash", said Nishi, a student of North South University.

According to the website of Bangla Academy, a total of 1134 books of different genres of literature and branches of knowledge were available in the book fair till yesterday.

The month-long book fair began on February 1 on the premises of Bangla Academy and its adjoining Suhrawardy Udyan in the city.

Writers, booklovers and publishers observed that the Amar Ekushey Book Fair has now become a festival of all ages of people. This is a great success of the book fair, they added.