The cabinet approval has been granted to carry out the procurement activities related to providing free textbooks to school students for the 2023 new school term, the Education Ministry said.
They said 45% of the textbooks will be printed by the State Printing Corporation and 55% will be printed by private printing companies.
Accordingly, 22 qualified private printing companies have been given printing orders and signed contracts. The State Printing Corporation has also received the first stock of paper received under Indian loan assistance, and textbook printing is underway.
The Education Minister has intervened and obtained the approval of the Council of Ministers to give an advance of 20% of the contracted amount to the private printing entities.
The Education Publications Department has taken steps to release about 50% of this advance amount to the printing presses requested by the provision for 2022.
Accordingly, the Education Ministry has already received the printed textbooks from several private printers, and more such textbooks are still in the process of being received in the warehouse of the Ministry of Education.
For the rest of the advances, money had been requested from the Treasury, and after the discussion and the intervention of the Minister of Education, the Treasury has agreed to provide a part of it.
Accordingly, in the coming week, the money will be released for the bills submitted by the printers and for the part that is left to be paid for the printers from the advance money. (Chaturanga Pradeep Samarawickrama)
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