Stamp paper numbers don't add up at government press in Nashik

Clerical error or black marketing racket? The response to a query filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that the government-run India Security Press (ISP) in Nashik has been printing more Non Judicial Stamp Paper (NJSP) than ordered for print and supply. Records show that after supply, there is huge surplus stock left over in the press, which the activist fears is being black-marketed.

Manoranjan Roy has found the discrepancies in the figures after filing an RTI query. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

There are two government printing presses in the country - one in Nashik and the other in Hyderabad. ISP in Nashik Road prints and supplies NJSP of various denominations from Rs 50 to Rs 25,000 and judicial stamps worth Rs 1, Rs 2, and Rs 5. The NJSP is supplied to treasury offices all across the country.

Mumbai-based RTI activist Manoranjan Roy (43) had asked for information about NJSP in 2012, but the Security Printing Press (SPP) in New Delhi, instead of giving a reply, forwarded the letter to the Nashik and Hyderabad printing presses. The press in Hyderabad is yet to reply.

The information obtained from ISP, Nasik however indicates that ISP officials are involved in printing more stamps and NJSP than ordered (see box). For instance, in the year 2006-2007, the Nashik printing press printed total 17,18,87,000 stamps and supplied 17,18,86,500. This means that there should have been only 500 papers left in stock - the figures, however, show that there were an eye-popping 3,25,58,050 left over.

“I am shocked to see the RTI reply. The records show that figures for printing, supply and stock are different. I think ISP officials are supplying NJSP to the black market, or have given wrong information,” said Roy.

The other side
“Let me look into the matter. This could be a technical issue. ISP prints NJSP after receiving orders from all over country. Due to problems in obtaining police protection, often the concern state picks up a smaller quantity than ordered. Then the balance shows in our records,” said S Chockalingam, Inspector General of Registration and Controller of Stamps, Maharashtra.

“This is not possible. We have no additional capacity for printing NJSP. We have lots of orders from all over the country. Our machines continue to print stamp papers. Often, states fail to take delivery of stamp papers owing to lack of security. We showed those papers as supplied, but stocked in press. Showing stock in press is not a big deal. The public have no idea about it,” said an officer of ISP, Nashik.

“Our only concern with ISP is that we order more than 62 crore NJSP pieces per year, and take delivery only by sending our vehicle. Our office have no concern about stock,” said Additional Stamps Controller Dr AT Kumbhar.

About ISP
India Security Press (ISP) is a government press where items like passports, visas, postage stamps, post cards, inland letters, envelopes, non-postal adhesives, court fees, fiscal, and hundi stamps are printed. The press is located near Nashik Maharashtra state. 

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