Odisha grappling with stamp paper shortage

Bhubaneswar: Registration and other governmental works are getting adversely affected in Odisha amid a shortage of both judicial and non-judicial stamp papers.

“I have brought Rs 10 stamp paper for Rs 15 for my house rent agreement as vendors have resorted to black marketing due to shortage of stamp papers. We have no other options left,” said Pritam Kumar Negi, a resident of Bhubaneswar.

According to sources, the state is reeling with a shortage of both judicial and non-judicial stamp papers as only Rs 5.80 crore has been sanctioned by the State government against the budgetary allocation of Rs 9 crore.

Moreover, around Rs 3 crore is pending as dues to India Security Press at Nashik Road. In a letter to the Finance department, the Directorate of Treasuries and Inspection has mentioned that the funds available are not sufficient to meet requirement of stamp papers from November to January 2019.

Meanwhile, the stamp paper vendors have alleged that the State government is deliberately creating such a situation to promote e-stamping facility.

“When people demand for Rs 1, Rs 2 and Rs 5 stamp papers, we deny them stating unavailability of the stamps. State government is wilfully creating such shortage with an aim to enforce the e-stamping system and benefit some private companies,” said Secretary of Odisha stamp vendors’ association, Ramakrushna Parida.

“There is a need for more printing press and we are not much into e-stamping system as of now. Therefore, state government is in contact with the printing press at Nasik and the problem will be addressed soon,” said Odisha Finance Minister, Sashi Bhusan Behera.